49ers hit with “crazy” run of injuries in opener

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The 49ers were hit with an early wave of injuries last night, and some of them appear to be serious.

After the game, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that the most serious were tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida‘s shoulder injuries, acknowledging that both would miss some time.

But the problem was there were four others, as linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring), defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (concussion), backup tackle Garry Gilliam (concussion), and linebacker Eli Harold (knee) had to leave the game as well.

It was crazy,” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said, via Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “I don’t know how many [injuries] it was total, but it’s never good to see. It’s football, those things happen, you just try to minimize it as much as possible. But it’s tough to see in preseason.”

The 49ers were already playing without a few veterans including cornerback Richard Sherman, and makes them worry with three games and a set of joint workouts with the Texans on the horizon.

“It’s what scares you about training camp, it’s what scares you about the preseason,” Shanahan said. “Kinda just want the game to end when those things start happening, because you want those guys when the season starts.

“But we also need to practice to get better, so it’s just something you’ve gotta deal with, it’s part of this business.”

And for a team that has created plenty of enthusiasm with last year’s Garoppolo-sparked run, it’s a dose of reality for the 49ers.

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