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Three more 49ers go on injured reserve

The 49ers long, painful season continued with the news Monday that tight end Cole Hikutini (knee), tackle Garry Gilliam (knee) and starting free safety Jaquiski Tarrt (broken forearm) will be placed on season-ending injured reserve. During his Monday press conference, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan also said that linebacker Elijah Lee (knee), wide receiver Trent Taylor (ribs), and tight end George Kittle (ankle) will be unavailable for Sunday’s game against the visiting Giants.

It means the 49ers don’t have 46 healthy players on their current roster to field a full team. Shanahan said the team will have to sign players to get to 46, and he confirmed that the team will likely add former Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy.

Shanahan was particularly thankful to Kittle, who sustained an ankle injury on the opening drive and then went back into the game after Hikutini and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (neck) departed with injury.

“They all kind of play the same position in different ways,” Shanahan said. “We didn’t ask George (to play) but he said he could go. He allowed us to function. I earned a great deal of respect for him doing what he did.”

Shanahan said there are no magic formulas to solve the injury problem and win a game. However, he’s clinging to the perspective that the team will improve despite the fact 15 players are now on injured reserve.

“I believe in this organization” Shanahan said. “I believe in the people here. I believe in the resources that we have to improve.”

But that doesn’t mean the losing hasn’t been eating at him.

“It’s something that I don’t accept,” Shanahan said. “I know the guys are going to get the same person from me regardless.”

One player they won’t be bringing in is a quarterback because the newly-signed Jimmy Garoppolo has back-up job wrapped up. With so many injuries, there isn’t the luxury to bring in an emergency backup like Matt Barkley or practice squad quarterback Nick Mullens.

“We would have to cut other players to do that, and we don’t have that leeway right now,” Shanahan said. “Everybody has a role on our team right now.”


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