SANTA CLARA, Calif. — For the San Francisco 49ers gamers remaining from 2018, Thursday’s sport in all probability dredged up many undesirable however acquainted emotions.
Decimated by accidents and with the brand new twist supplied by the COVID-19 pandemic making issues worse, the Niners opened Thursday night time’s 34-17 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers with a whopping $80.eight million price of cap area on injured reserve.
For as a lot because the 49ers (4-5) wished to placed on a courageous face and flash the world they should not be counted out, this overwhelming actuality remained: What’s left of those 49ers merely is not adequate to maintain up with most respectable playoff contenders.
Without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight finish George Kittle, working again Raheem Mostert, receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne, left sort out Trent Williams, cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive ends Nick Bosa and Dee Ford and extra, the workforce the Niners placed on the sphere Thursday night time was unrecognizable from the one which ran roughshod over the Packers in two conferences final season.
What did have a well-known look was how issues went within the first sport the Niners performed with out the gamers above. Most doubtless, it is a look that, love in 2018, 49ers observers are going to need to get used to this season.
Even with a few of their key gamers returning in some unspecified time in the future, issues aren’t going to get a lot simpler. The Niners entered Thursday’s sport with the third-hardest remaining schedule left within the NFL.
Which means it may be time to show again the clock to 2018 when Garoppolo was misplaced to a torn ACL. It was a torturous trudge by the ultimate 12 video games, nevertheless it ended with the Niners touchdown Bosa with the No. 2 decide.
The journey will not be as arduous with seven video games left, however the comfort prize on the finish in all probability will not be as rewarding, both. Since the Niners have already got 4 wins, they doubtless will not be within the combine for a decide as excessive as No. 2.
But with questions on Garoppolo’s future positive to turn into the largest hot-button subject surrounding the workforce, draft-pick positioning doubtless can be of extra curiosity than the video games themselves.
Promising pattern: Richie James bought his probability to shine with the 49ers’ high three receivers out. He took benefit with 184 yards receiving on 9 catches and a landing. The whole was greater than James had in both of his first two seasons within the league (130 yards in 2018, 165 yards in 2019).
QB breakdown: Mullens had some good moments early on, however receiver River Cracraft’s dropped landing compelled the Niners to accept a subject purpose and issues went downhill from there. Behind shaky safety with none of his high move catchers, Mullens tried to drive some passes and turned the ball over twice, together with an interception and a misplaced fumble. He completed 22-of-35 for 291 yards with one landing and one interception.
Add one other damage: Just earlier than halftime, sturdy security Jaquiski Tartt went to the locker room with a foot damage, and although his return was initially labeled questionable, he was dominated out early within the third quarter. Tartt was in his first sport again from a groin damage that saved him out the previous three video games.