49ers beatdown of Panthers overshadowed by too many injuries

Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

42. 15. 87. Final. 37

The 49ers may have dominated the Panthers in Week 5, but the Niners also watched a number of key players go down with notable injuries.

The San Francisco 49ers finally get back to above .500 after Week 5’s one-sided 37-15 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, yet the victory certainly came at a cost.

Sure, the Niners have used their depth (particularly on defense) to account for a number of key injuries that have already been present since the beginning of the season, and that was certainly the case entering Sunday’s game with starting defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Arik Armstead (foot) both ruled inactive.

However, that setback was supposed to be offset by San Francisco getting its starting free safety back, Jimmie Ward, who missed the first four weeks of the year with a hamstring injury.

Unfortunately, Ward departed the game almost right after it started, exited and being ruled out with a hand injury.

The 49ers had gotten by without Ward, at least at free safety, thanks to the exceptional fill-in play by veteran defensive back Tashaun Gipson, meaning Ward moved into the nickel role to start Week 5.

In Ward’s absence, the Niners turned to second-year pro Deommodore Lenoir, and it’s likely that’ll be the case again if Ward ends up missing a substantial amount of time.

Monday’s full designation of injuries from head coach Kyle Shanahan will likely help answer how long that will be.

49ers also lose Nick Bosa, two other key players on the roster

Ward going down wasn’t the only setback the Niners secondary had to endure, as No. 2 cornerback Emmanuel Moseley suffered what appeared to be a knee injury and gingerly walked off the field with some assistance.

Earlier in the game, Moseley picked off Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield for a 41-yard pick-six touchdown:

Even on the play where he was injured, Moseley recorded a pass breakup.

Like Ward, it’ll likely be Monday when Shanahan reveals just how long Moseley will be out, if at all. However, that particular injury wasn’t the worst one San Francisco suffered.

Shanahan’s postgame comments on Moseley weren’t too encouraging, though, as he suspects it could be an ACL tear:

Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa, who entered Week 5 with a league-best six sacks and looking to continue his 2022 sack streak to five games, ended up being lost to a groin injury early in the third quarter, subsequently being ruled out after missing two defensive series.

However, Bosa’s injury only served to highlight the 49ers’ defensive depth, as they still managed to record a whopping six sacks, including ones by reserve linemen Charles Omenihu and the rookie, Drake Jackson.

Groin injuries can be tricky, though, and the Niners won’t want to rush Bosa back. It is refreshing to at least see the rest of the D-line pick up the slack.

If that wasn’t enough, kicker Robbie Gould ended up suffering an ankle injury while making a tackle on a kickoff return, prompting many to wonder how San Francisco’s special teams unit put itself in a position where Gould needed to stop a returner in the first place.

Either way, San Francisco managed to pull off a dominant victory, and one can only hope Shanahan’s reports on Monday aren’t too devastating on the injury front.

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