Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
No one, not even Damontre Moore, knew he’d injured himself on Sunday night. Moore didn’t leave the game and wasn’t diagnosed with an injury until Monday morning. While there was no red flag to insinuate a significant injury, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Moore suffered a fractured forearm and will end his season on injured reserve.
Moore and 49ers surprised by injury
Though he played in just two games, Moore’s impact in replacing Ronald Blair III (torn right ACL) was valuable. He effectively ended the game against the Arizona Cardinals last week by forcing a fumble-turnover with 36 seconds remaining in the game, and provided a more than capable edge rushing presence with Dee Ford still sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Shanahan said that neither Moore nor the 49ers’ training staff were aware he’d suffered an injury. Shanahan said it happened at the start of the third quarter, when Aaron Rodgers scrambled unsuccessfully on a third down and was pushed out of bounds by Moore. Richard Sherman was called for unnecessary roughness in the end zone on that play and the Packers scored their only points two (and three) plays later.
“I can’t tell you how impressed we were. We didn’t know he had a broken forearm until after my press conference yesterday. The guy didn’t tell anybody because he didn’t know it was broken,” Shanahan said. “He knew there was some pain in there but he just kept playing and then after the game he noticed it was hurting a little bit and got some guys to check it out and it was broken. To just watch him on tape playing with that shows you he’s a special dude.”
With Moore out for the season, Shanahan said the 49ers would promote defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga from the team’s practice squad, rather than make a move on a free agent. Valoaga led the team with a whopping 4.5 sacks in four preseason games, and trailed only Dre Greenlaw (16 tackles) for the team lead in tackles with 15.
Injury roundup: Where 49ers stand on Staley, Gould, Ford and IR candidates
- Aside from Moore, the 49ers did not appear to be dealt any significant injuries this week. Outside of him, Jullian Taylor suffered a jaw contusion and Mike Person suffered a stinger in his shoulder, but neither would appear to be long-term injuries.
- Worried about George Kittle? Don’t. Shanahan said he’s fine: “George came out good… it didn’t seem like he had any setbacks.”
Where 49ers stand on Staley, and who would start at left tackle
- Joe Staley could play this week after undergoing surgery on his fractured/dislocated right ring finger, but it doesn’t sound like Shanahan was leaning on the likely side that he’d play:
“I know he’s got a chance to [play] this week, but we’ll see what happens. I’m still hoping for it, but not at all counting on it.”
- If Staley can’t go, Daniel Brunskill would be the likely candidate to start, over Justin Skule. Skule started Sunday’s game, but was pulled for Brunskill after a sack and a holding call on the same drive. Shanahan said that the three days of practice would decide who would start, and that Skule has had some wear and tear, but the tape favored Brunskill: “That’s the way the tape looked and the way they finished that game, but both of those guys have played well for us so we’ll base it off the three days of practice.”
And Dee Ford?
- Dee Ford has a chance to play and Shanahan was certainly more optimistic that he could play on Sunday:
“I think he’s very similar to the other guys in that group – Robbie, Breida and Staley. I think they all got a chance to go this week but it would still just be throwing a number out there, gonna be 50-50. Usually when you have a hamstring, that usually takes a couple weeks and I think it will be two weeks on Sunday, so he’s definitely got a chance.”
- The problem is, with both Ronald Blair III and Damontre Moore now done for the season, the 49ers cannot afford a setback from Ford. For what was viewed as a multi-week injury, it would be surprising to see Ford play just two weeks removed from the injury against the NFL’s most mobile quarterback in Lamar Jackson. On the same token, the 49ers could view Ford’s speed as necessary to containing Jackson, so at this point, he cannot be ruled out.
Injured reserve guys?
- The IR guys: At this point, both Kentavius Street and Jason Verrett won’t open their three-week practice windows until Week 13, unless there is a serious injury in the secondary or on the interior defensive line. Shanahan said both won’t be activated unless there is an injury, but they are healthy enough to start practicing again:
“We’ll bring them up if we have an injury at one of those positions. I think they’re both healthy enough that they could go now and get back into practice, you gotta decide in the last three weeks. If we lost a corner in this game, then we’d probably activate his practice window. If we lost an inside player, a D-linemen, we’d probably do the same for Street.”