SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers defense has again suffered a devastating injury — veteran defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been lost with a torn bicep suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan disclosed the injury at his Monday zoom call with reports — a weekly event that has become a continued list of players hobbled in this injury-ravaged season.
“Ziggy tore his bicep, he’ll have surgery,” Shanahan said. “He’s going on IR later this week.”
Both star defensive end Nick Bosa and his running mate Solomon Thomas were lost for the season with torn ACLs in a victory over the New York Giants. Dee Ford has been suffering from a back injury since training camp, has not played in a game, and was placed on the three-game Injured Reserve list last Saturday.
Shanahan has not been confident in Ford’s return at all this season.
So the 49ers scrambled to find help along the defensive line and seemed to find it in Ansah.
The 31-year-old, seven-year NFL veteran played for 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek while with the Detroit Lions. He appeared in 11 games last season with the Seattle Seahawks and registered 2.5 sacks with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Ansah played the past two weeks after signing a one-year deal on Sept. 23 reportedly worth $3 million. He played 34 defensive snaps and one on special teams.
Now, he too is gone.
“You keep trying and see how you can upgrade your team,” Shanahan said when asked what’s next for the battered defensive line. “Every time you lose a guy, that’s what we do. Guys are looking at what the options are at all times. It’s not the easiest to just continue to find pass rushers and D-Linemen at this time of the year.”
But Shanahan said he was also encouraged by how other — lesser known — players were stepping up.
“I think our D-Line has really stepped up to the challenge,” he said. “I thought they played two good games in New York. I thought yesterday (in the Eagles loss) they played very hard. I thought they wore down a little bit and we made a couple mistakes on third down, letting Carson [Wentz] get out of the pocket.”
“I think we had three third downs that he was able to scramble on,” Shanahan added. “One he came up a yard short, but he should not have been in that position at all. We should have had the sack. Just lost containment on it, which led him to a fourth and one, but I think our D-Line’s battling. I think they’re giving us a chance. I think we just made a few silly mistakes that kept a couple of drives going.”