49ers injury news: Weston Richburg, 2 others unavailable for Week 1

Weston Richburg #58 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Weston Richburg #58 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are already going to be shorthanded for their kickoff to the 2020 regular season, losing Weston Richburg and two other players.

San Francisco 49ers center Weston Richburg wasn’t telling the truth.

Earlier this offseason, Richburg told reporters he was expecting to be back in time for training camp after suffering a season-ending patellar tear in his knee during the Niners’ Week 14 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Turns out, Richburg won’t be available for the start of the regular season in 2020.

This isn’t to call Richburg out, of course, rather to point out some of San Francisco’s injury bugs last year are carrying over into this season, too. Another one of note, defensive tackle Jullian Taylor also suffered a serious knee injury late in 2019.

Following the team’s camp sessions on Thursday, head coach Kyle Shanahan clarified some of the immediate injury futures for a number of players, Richburg and Taylor included. According to the head coach (h/t The Athletic’s David Lombardi), both Richburg and Taylor will start the year on the physically unable-to-perform (PUP) list where they’re currently listed.

According to league rules, if a player is on the PUP list and doesn’t participate in training camp (or the preseason, for that matter), he can go to the regular-season PUP list and won’t count against the active roster. But he’s also ineligible to play or practice for the first six weeks of the regular season.

Once that time has passed, teams have a three-week window to evaluate the player and determine whether or not to make a roster move.

In the wake of Richburg’s injury last year, the 49ers slotted backup lineman Ben Garland into the former’s stead, which was the makeup all the way through Super Bowl LIV. Garland has also suffered what appears to be a minor injury in camp, prompting the Niners to ink veteran backup center Hroniss Grasu on Wednesday.

49ers will be without Richie James for a while

Unlike both Richburg and Taylor, who suffered injuries during NFL-related activities, wide receiver Richie James suffered his broken wrist during an unofficial practice session earlier this offseason.

As such, the team can place James on the non-football injury list, since it didn’t happen under the direct supervision of the Niners. Just like Richburg and Taylor, San Francisco will have to sit James for the first portion of the regular season and can reevaluate whether or not it wants to reactivate him to the 53-man roster at a later point.

James was scantly used on offense the last two years, but he did feature as Shanahan’s top return specialist.

Needless to say, that particular job remains up for grabs in training camp.

dark. Next. Ranking 49ers' top 5 rookie performances in training camp

The Niners also saw defensive tackle D.J. Jones suffer an apparent shoulder injury, and he’s being evaluated. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.