The 49ers enter MetLife Stadium shorthanded as San Francisco announced they will be without several starters in the Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets. Star tight end George Kittle is working his way back from a knee strain. Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted he expects Ross Dwelley, Jordan Reed and rookie Charlie Woerner to see an uptick in snaps with Kittle sidelined.
Additionally, the 49ers will be without veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who is dealing with a calf strain. Fourth-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon is set to get the start in Sherman’s absence.
Notably, the team announced on Saturday that pass rusher Dee Ford was ruled OUT for Sunday’s game while dealing with neck spasms.
Despite the injury news, Brandon Aiyuk and Ben Garland are set to make their season debuts against the Jets. Aiyuk was dealing with a hamstring injury suffered during camp and was a full participant in the week’s practices leading up to Sunday. He will join newcomer Mohamed Sanu, who is active against the Jets despite participating in only Friday’s practice with the team, as two new receiving options for Jimmy Garoppolo with Kittle OUT and Deebo Samuel on Injured Reserve for at least another week.
Garland also was a full participant this week at practice while working his way back from an ankle injury suffered during camp. Last week, the 49ers saw Hroniss Grasu take snaps at center with Garland and Weston Richburg (PUP) out.
The Jets are dealing with a number of injuries of their own heading into Week 2. The team placed running back Le’Veon Bell on Injured Reserve this week with a hamstring injury. Additionally, New York’s top two wideouts will miss Sunday’s matchup with Jamison Crowder (hamstring) ruled OUT and Denzel Mims (hamstring) also placed on Injured Reserve.
Here’s a look at the team’s inactives heading into the 10 am PT kickoff: