SANTA CLARA — The 49ers’ first preseason game did not get off to a good start on Thursday at Levi’s Stadium.
San Francisco had three projected starters — LB Malcolm Smith, TE George Kittle, DL Solomon Thomas — and back-up running back Matt Breida all leave the first quarter with injures.
Smith was the first to go down with a hamstring injury after the 49ers initial defensive series, an issue he’s dealt with during training camp. Smith missed all of last season with a torn pectoral sustained in camp.
Kittle was the next to leave after stretching out for a deep ball down the middle, and landing hard on the Levi’s Stadium turf. Kittle — a second-year tight end who is expected to have a big season — was diagnosed with a shoulder injury.
As Kittle was walking towards the tunnel, Solomon Thomas sustained what looked like a scary head injury, causing many of his teammates to take a knee as he lay face down for a prolonged period of time.
Solomon Thomas took a hard fall and was on the ground for several minutes. He's now being escorted to the locker room. #49ers teammates took a knee as the medical staff tended to Thomas pic.twitter.com/gOv8drbbe4
— Brad Almquist (@bradalmquist13) August 10, 2018
Thomas eventually left under his own power and was diagnosed with a “head” injury.
On the 49ers second offensive possession, projected second-string running back Matt Breida left with a shoulder injury sustained while making a block.
All four have been listed as questionable to return by the team.