By Sam McPherson
As the San Francisco 49ers prepare for a winnable road game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4 on Sunday afternoon, the defense dominates the team’s official injury report with five of the seven injured players listed on that side of the ball. In contract, only two offensive players are questionable for the Cardinals game.
The Arizona offense is ranked 11th in total yards and 18th in scoring so far this season, so the 49ers defense will get a challenge playing without Week 1 starters Reuben Foster at linebacker and Eric Reid at safety. In addition, three other defensive players are questionable for Sunday.
Foster and Reid still out for immediate future
Foster is still out with a high-ankle sprain, and he has missed the last two games. The 2017 first-round draft pick was expected to be a major cog in the rebuilt defense, but Foster hasn’t been on the field enough to have a big impact yet. As for Reid, he was hurt in Week 2 and may be out another two weeks or so with PCL injury to his knee.
Concussions limiting Coyle and Tartt
Linebacker Brock Coyle and safety Jaquiski Tartt both are in league concussion protocol right now, and both players have been limited in practice this week as they try to work themselves through the process in order to get back on the field. Since brain injuries are so unpredictable, it’s unknown whether either player will be ready for Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile on offense, the backfield could suffer some personnel losses, too, depending on how running back Carlos Hyde (hip) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (concussion) feel come game time. Hyde is more likely to play, due to the nature of his ailment, but both backs only were able to manage limited workouts during the week.
Arizona has a wounded roster, especially on offense
With 10 players on their official injury list this week, including nine players that were unable to complete full practices, the Cardinals are hurting a lot more than the 49ers are right now. Arizona has three offensive linemen listed questionable or out for Sunday’s game, and the Cards also have three members of the receiving corps in the same predicament—including wide receivers John Brown (quadricep) and J.J. Nelson (hamstring).
The only good news for Arizona is that linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle) was a full participant in practice this week and will make his 2017 season debut on Sunday after offseason surgery.
- (LB) Brock Coyle (Concussion) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (RB) Carlos Hyde (Hip) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (FB) Kyle Juszczyk (Concussion) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (S) Jaquiski Tartt (Concussion) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (LB) Reuben Foster (Ankle) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (S) Eric Reid (Knee) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (DE) Pita Taumoepenu (Ankle) — Did Not Participate In Practice