49ers injury news
The biggest piece of injury news of the week came on Friday, when the 49ers announced starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt would be placed on season-ending injured reserve due to his ongoing shoulder injury. Tartt also missed the latter half of the 2017 season due to a broken forearm, before receiving a two-year contract extension over the offseason.
Rookie safety Marcell Harris will continue to start in Tartt’s place, giving the youngster valuable playing experience while allowing San Francisco’s coaching staff to see what they have in the raw defender.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, Tartt isn’t the only starting defensive back who landed on IR this week. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon will also miss the remainder of the 2018 season after the second-year corner sustained a knee injury in last week’s game. After filling in for Witherspoon against the Seahawks, rookie cornerback Tarvarius Moore should get the start against Chicago.
Nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday, and is slated to return to action in Week 16 after missing the previous two weeks due to a knee injury. However, it remains to be seen whether Williams will get his starting job back from defensive back D.J. Reed. If the 49ers choose to use Williams in the slot, Reed could move back to free safety, where he’s seen extended action over the course of his rookie season.
Although running back Matt Breida, SAM linebacker Mark Nzeocha and WILL linebacker Malcolm Smith were limited in practice throughout the week, none of the three received an official injury designation for Sunday’s game. All three players should be able to suit up against the Bears, but only Breida and Nzeocha are expected to play significant roles, as Smith has seen the field for only three defensive snaps since he lost his starting job to LB Elijah Lee in Week 13.
49ers injury news will be updated throughout the weekend, as additional information becomes available.