49ers news: Defense isn’t hurting from rash of recent injuries

Fred Warner #54 and Charles Omenihu #94 of the San Francisco 49ers sack Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 and Charles Omenihu #94 of the San Francisco 49ers sack Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

The 49ers have already dealt with some notable injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but the production is suggesting those setbacks aren’t a problem.

The San Francisco 49ers were missing two first-round picks on the defensive line for the bulk of their Week 4 home contest against the Los Angeles Rams last Monday.

Usually, when a team goes through that kind of attrition because of injuries, it’ll spell some hard times for whatever side of the ball that’s on. However, after the Niners gave up no touchdowns, sacked LA quarterback Matthew Stafford seven times and allowed only three points, it’s safe to say the absences of defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead weren’t too problematic.

Of course, San Francisco would have preferred to have both Kinlaw and Armstead out there, as the former’s knee issues made him a game-time inactive player, and Armstead had to exit early because of a foot injury.

Yet the 49ers were able to overcome because of one notable thing: a strength of depth.

Reserve defensive linemen Charles Omenihu and Hassan Ridgeway both recorded sacks on Stafford, showing why the Niners’ D-line depth is more than enough to overcome the losses of players like Armstead and Kinlaw.

And, when they both return, the rotational depth gets even stronger.

The same argument can be made within the secondary, too, as the Niners have been without veteran safety Jimmie Ward (hamstring) over the first four games of the year. With Ward still on injured reserve, a free-agent pickup in Tashaun Gipson has ended up as one of Pro Football Focus‘ top-graded safeties on the year.

Again, excellence in depth.

With San Francisco’s league-leading defense poised to take on a weak Carolina Panthers offense in Week 5, expect the defensive “stat padding” to continue.

Let’s take a look at some other news nuggets from around the league.

49ers news from FanSided network

Week 5 game-by-game score predictions — Matt Verderame, FanSided.com

"Baker Mayfield against the Niners defense. That should be put behind a pay-per-view surcharge.Pick: San Francisco 20, Carolina 9"

Week 5 NFL power rankings sees 49ers climb — Russell Baxter, FanSided.com

"Kyle Shanahan’s club had prevailed in the last six regular-season meetings vs. the rival Rams as the teams who clashed in the 2021 NFC title game collided on a Monday night at San Francisco.After spotting Los Angeles an early field goal, the Niners took a 7-3 lead via a Jeff Wilson 32-yard TD run and never trailed again. The 49ers held the Rams without a touchdown, forced two turnovers and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford seven times."

49ers news, analysis from around the NFL world

Kevin Givens, Hassan Ridgeway have been Niners’ unsung defensive heroes — Jordan Elliott, Niners Nation

"With Javon Kinlaw ruled out of Monday’s game and Arik Armstead at less than one hundred percent, Givens and Ridgeway were tasked with carrying a heavy load against a potent Rams offense. Givens and Ridgeway each recorded over 30 snaps on the interior, pacing the 49ers’ defense in this game.Plenty of 49ers fans are familiar with Givens as he embarks in his fourth season with the team, but Monday night felt like a coming-out party of sorts for Ridgeway, who inked a one-year deal this offseason that looks like a bargain thus far at just a 1.8 million dollar cap hit."

Nick Bosa, 49ers lead all teams in best defensive lines — Next Gen Stats Team, NFL.com

"The defensive front is loaded with talent, allowing the Niners to play sound zone coverage without sacrificing their ability to get after the QB (SEE: league-high 35.0 percent pressure rate on four-man rushes). It certainly helps having the NFL pressure (22) and sack (6) leader in Nick Bosa too."

Jimmie Ward jokes the 49ers defense doesn’t ‘need me right now’ — David Bonilla, 49ers Webzone

"“I’m very eager, but I don’t think the defense needs me right now,” Ward jokingly said. “… They don’t need me. They can keep me clean for right now until they need me.”"

Nick Bosa withholding trash talk on Baker Mayfield until Panthers game — Jarrod Castillo, NBC Sports Bay Area

"“I don’t think I called him out last time before the game, I just called him out after,” Bosa said. “So yeah, maybe I’ll just call him out after when it goes the way we want it to.”When pressed on if he will do anything different, Bosa kept his answer simple and said that he was going to play within the team and not do too much.“Yeah, we’re going to play Niner football,” Bosa continued. “That’s all I got — I got no trash talk this morning, it’s too early for that.”"

Next. Niners who have impressed the most over first 4 weeks of 2022. dark