No. 4: The 49ers Depth Being Good for a Change
San Francisco has dealt with an incredibly bad strain of significant injuries over the last two-plus years. From Jimmy Garoppolo’s ACL tear, running back Jerick McKinnon‘s ACL tear and subsequent complications, wide receiver Trent Taylor‘s multiple injuries and so on, there’s no shortage of injury-related setbacks Kyle Shanahan has had to deal with since taking over in 2017.
The difference now, though, is the 49ers are deep and talented enough to absorb another run of these notable setbacks.
The Niners have lost key players this season. Some, like starting tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, have missed sizable chunks in the middle of the year. Others, such as linebacker Kwon Alexander, are done for the year.
Backup tackles Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill held the line well enough in Staley and McGlinchey’s stead. Linebacker Fred Warner has asked to shoulder a bigger load in the wake of Alexander’s injury, while rookie Dre Greenlaw has filled the void after moving up the the linebacking depth chart, too.
Ross Dwelley has been versatile, filling in at both fullback and as a starting tight end, as needed. And Emmanuel Moseley’s ascent has already been tabbed as well.
A year or two ago, the Niners would have been unable to account for so many injuries to key players. This year, however, the advanced planning and depth has meant these injuries can be overcome.
And they have.