3 ways SF 49ers stay in contention amid brutal injuries

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Nick Bosa, SF 49ers
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Niner Noise looks at three ways the SF 49ers can stay afloat amid all of the injuries early in the season.

How can a resounding SF 49ers victory on the road after a loss at home to open a season be so unfulfilling?

Well, let’s count the ways.

First, the Niners were facing an injury-laden New York Jets team that, honestly, looks to be one of the worst in the NFL early on in 2020. With injuries to running back Le’Veon Bell and their top wide receiver, Jamison Crowder, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was already looking at an uphill battle facing the defending NFC champs at MetLife last Sunday.

While the Jets suffered some injuries during the game as well, the SF 49ers may have suffered more injuries in a half to their star players than any team in recent history, at least in recent memory.

The first, and perhaps most devastating, occurred early in the first quarter, as last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, EDGE Nick Bosa, tore his ACL when his left knee buckled while blocking Jets tight end Trevon Wesco. Three plays later, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas was carted off with an ACL injury of his own.

Both players are done for the season.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had taken heat after a modest Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals that saw him throw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while looking a little indecisive at times, had a solid first half going against the Jets on Sunday. Garoppolo was 14-of-16 for 131 yards and two touchdowns but was noticeably limping after being hit in the back of the leg in the first quarter.

He was replaced by No. 2 quarterback Nick Mullens after halftime, and Garoppolo will have a long way to go if he’s going to start Week 3 against the New York Giants.

Starting running back Raheem Mostert also left the game just before halftime with a knee injury as well. Before exiting, he had already rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown.

While injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, losing three or four players in the same game, two of whom are most likely out for the season, is quite a blow for any team to overcome.

General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have always stated you can learn a lot about your team when it faces adversity, and this certainly qualifies as one of those times.

Let’s focus on three ways the SF 49ers can stay competitive and win games amid all their injuries.