SF 49ers vs. Patriots injury report: Niners safety depth to be tested
By Peter Panacy
The SF 49ers are going to be without safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward in Week 7 versus the Patriots, straining the Niners’depth chart.
The SF 49ers can’t seem to catch a break on the health front.
This time, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s defense will be notably shorthanded as the team prepares for its Week 7 road clash at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots. While Shanahan is already going to be without running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), the latest injury news also lists starting safeties, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, as out for the contest with quad and groin injuries, respectively.
Additionally, linebacker Kwon Alexander will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury.
SF 49ers Week 7 injury report vs. Patriots
- RB Raheem Mostert (ankle)
- S Jaquiski Tartt (groin)
- LB Kwon Alexander (ankle)
- S Jimmie Ward (quad)
- T Trent Williams (ankle)
- RB Jeffrey Wilson (calf)
Mostert’s absence, paired with Wilson’s questionable status puts increasing pressure on available runners, Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty, to shoulder the load on offense on the ground.
Veteran running back Tevin Coleman (knee) is still on injured reserve.
Marcell Harris, Tarvarius Moore to see more time for SF 49ers
If there’s a bonus to both Tartt and Ward being out, it’s the Niners will get to explore more field time for two players who could end up being vital parts of the defense in the near and long-term futures, Marcell Harris and Tarvarius Moore.
Moore, Ward’s primary backup at free safety, has primarily been used in big-nickel packages but has seen only 23 defensive snaps this year (six percent). He started in place of Ward early in 2019 but was quickly relegated to backup status once Ward returned from an early finger injury.
To date, Moore has six tackles and one fumble recovery.
Harris, meanwhile, has played a slightly more prominent role, coming in for Tartt when the latter suffered his injury in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. To date, Harris has seen 50 defensive snaps (13 percent) with seven tackles, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
San Francisco also likely will promote veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien off the practice squad, too.
Against a mobile quarterback, the Patriots’ Cam Newton, Harris’ force-fumble attribute might be vital in ensuring the SF 49ers win this road contest. On top of that, with Tartt pegged for free agency in 2021, Harris’ availability affords the Niners an extra chance to see if he can be a long-term replacement at free safety.
The SF 49ers and Patriots kick off on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 4:25 p.m. ET from Gillette Stadium.