How the Injury to Eric Reid Impacts the San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | It might seem like a small injury in the grand scheme of things, but when Eric Reid rolled his ankle against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday an entire fan base held its breath. Reid, a first-round pick in April's draft, has impressed onlookers a great deal as a day-one starter and has been among the most valuable members of one of the most improved secondaries in the entire National Football League.

At first glance, the injury looked a lot worst than it seems to be right now.

Matt Maiocco over at CSN Bay Area took the following photo of Reid and his running mate, safety Donte Whitner, immediately after San Francisco's blowout win against the Titans on Sunday. The caption reads, " Eric Reid and Donte Whitner look fine after the game."

With that said, Reid seemed to be a bit more hobbled on Monday. This is an indication that he could be a game-time decision against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars this upcoming week before San Francisco heads to a bye Week 9.

Going up against one of the worst teams in the NFL, San Francisco may be able to play it safe and sit Reid. C.J. Spillman offers decent ability as a backup and should be able to hold his own against an anemic Jaguars' passing game. This would give the rookie two full weeks to heal his ankle before returning to action against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10.

For his part, Reid has been one of the most valuable rookie defenders in the entire league through seven weeks. Potentially missing him for a game, even if it is a precaution, will test the 49ers' depth in the secondary. It's all about making sure that the talented free safety is 100 percent and ready to go for the stretch run.

Is one game against a winless Jaguars team worth the risk of Reid further injuring that ankle? This is the question that Jim Harbaugh and Co. will be asking themselves as they prepare for Jacksonville in London this week.

Back to Maiocco for a second, he seems to think Reid's ability to play this upcoming week is "iffy."

If that's the case, I am a proponent of sitting him out and making sure he's 100 percent and ready to go against Carolina. After all, if San Francisco can't beat the Jaguars without its rookie safety, there are more issues than an injury to on player.

Vincent Frank has been covering the National Football League for three years. He started out writing for Niners Nation and was a featured columnist at Bleacher Report. His work has been published on CNN, Pro Football Focus and BR, among other sites.

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