Injuries popping up at 49ers training camp
Injuries are starting to pop up as the 49ers enter their second block of four straight practices to start training camp.
San Francisco on Thursday was without defensive tackle DeForest Buckner because of a toe injury. The significance of the injury is unclear, though all signs would point to the team taking things slowly with Buckner to ensure he’s 100% for the start of the regular season.
Additionally, pass rusher Dee Ford was held out of team drills following light individual work. Coach Kyle Shanahan said afterward that Ford had knee tendinitis flare up, which had been a problem earlier in his career with the Chiefs. With Ford out, Ronald Blair and rookie Nick Bosa received the bulk of first-team reps at defensive end.
“He says it happens about every camp,” Shanahan said of Ford’s tendinitis, “then usually it goes away. He talked about it this morning and then he went out there and it was bothering him during individual drills. ... Talking to him, it doesn’t seem like a cause for concern. ... He could have (practiced) too, he just didn’t think it was necessary.”
Bosa, who’s been eased into the mix, has shown flashes of his sky-high potential in the early going.
But his workload has been limited after missing the final four months of his college football season last fall for Ohio State with a core muscle injury.
Bosa, while going against right tackle Mike McGlinchey, appeared to have a pressure against Jimmy Garoppolo during full-team drills that led to Garoppolo throwing it away.
Garnett has surgery
Guard Joshua Garnett, who had been rotating at right guard with the starters, had surgery this week on a dislocated finger on his right hand, Shanahan said Thursday. Garnett is expected to miss roughly three weeks while he battles to remain with the team that drafted him in Round 1 in 2016.
Garnett first dislocated the finger during the first practice of camp last Saturday, then aggravated it Sunday.
“Josh had a good OTAs, he was in great shape, he’d been working hard,” Shanahan said. “He just had another unfortunate thing with his finger, nothing he could have done about it. He tried to come out and practice with it and it kept popping out. It was going to continue to happen so we made the decision on surgery.”
The 49ers this offseason declined to pick up the fifth-year option for 2020 on Garnett’s rookie contract. The team brought back Mike Person, who started 16 games at right guard last season, by signing him to a three-year contract extension in March that puts him under team control until 2021.
Garnett missed all of 2017 following knee surgery and dealt with toe and finger injuries last season while appearing in seven games as a reserve.
RB depth takes hit
The 49ers don’t expect to have Jerick McKinnon available during the current block of four practices before the off day Monday, Shanahan said. He thought earlier this week that McKinnon could return from the physically unable to perform list by Thursday, but that timeline has been pushed back as McKinnon will get reevaluated early next week.
McKinnon suffered an apparent setback with his surgically repaired ACL tear just before training camp. Additionally, running back Jeff Wilson Jr. sustained a calf injury that will keep him out for roughly two weeks, likely including the preseason opener against the Cowboys on Aug. 10.
The injuries could lead to the 49ers bringing in another running back. Their current healthy options are Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and undrafted rookie Austin Walter. Those first three are likely to make the 53-man roster, which would mean the team might prefer to keep their workloads limited during the preseason.
“It depends how long this stuff goes,” Shanahan said. “... You would love to bring someone in, but in order to bring someone in, we got to cut someone. So we got a lot of guys here we like too. We’ll see how it plays out. You’d always like not to cut someone just to bring in someone for legs.”
Defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore, who signed with the 49ers in January, left practice with a “groin-type” injury, Shanahan said. He went to have an MRI following practice.