3 problems 49ers are already dealing with in training camp

Spencer Burford #74 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Spencer Burford #74 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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There are plenty of reasons to be excited about what 49ers training camp has revealed so far, but a number of troublesome problems have also shown up, too.

With just over a week of San Francisco 49ers training camp in the books, we’ve been able to garner some much-needed takeaways.

For starters, and as was to be expected, the Niners defense is ahead of the offense and is looking like a potentially elite unit heading into 2022. Cornerback Charvarius Ward, one of San Francisco’s prized offseason free-agent pickups, would probably be named camp MVP if there was such a thing.

On another positive note, All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel is back after finally getting his three-year contract extension.

There are other positives, too, but there are equally some notable concerns facing head coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff thus far. Some are potentially less serious than others, but one can fairly wonder whether or not these issues wind up bleeding over into the regular season when it begins this September.

Here are three issues in camp that Shanahan and Co. should be worried about.

49ers training camp issue No. 1: Injuries thinning out defensive line

Fortunately, San Francisco has mostly dodged any large number of significant injuries to key players, yet the defensive line has already experienced some notable attrition, particularly the interior.

The versatile defensive tackle, Hassan Ridgeway, suffered a quad injury and will miss some time in advance of the preseason, while fellow lineman Arik Armstead suffered an MCL sprain and is likely to be out until the regular season begins.

Those aren’t key issues, per se, yet the 49ers losing reserve defensive tackle Maurice Hurst to what’s likely a season-ending biceps tear is a notable blow, both for Hurst in the wake of him missing all but two games in 2021 because of calf injuries and because the veteran figured to play an integral role in the D-line rotation this season.

The Niners inked veteran lineman Akeem Spence to potentially fill the void, but having Hurst to plug the gap behind Armstead, Ridgeway and third-year pro Javon Kinlaw would have been more ideal.

One can only hope more injuries, particularly those to the D-line, don’t keep creeping up on San Francisco in advance of Week 1.