The San Francisco 49ers suffered yet another blow coming off of the 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints. It was announced on Monday, center Weston Richburg would miss the remainder of the season with a torn patellar tendon. Marquise Goodwin is also done for the year with an ankle and knee injury. Now, nose tackle D.J. Jones is expected to miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury according to head coach Kyle Shanahan, who didn’t sound too optimistic about the nose tackle’s status.
“I’m a little worried about it,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “We’re waiting on some other opinions and stuff, but it’s a pretty significant one.”
With Jones out, the 49ers may look to Sheldon Day and Solomon Thomas to play nose tackle. Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner also have experience playing in different spots along the defensive line. The 49ers opened Kentavius Street’s practice window last week, who also has an opportunity to be activated to the roster ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Street, San Francisco’s fourth-round pick in 2018, suffered an ACL injury during the pre-draft process and spent his entire first season on Injured Reserve. Cleared this offseason, the defensive lineman suffered a setback at the close of the preseason that forced him to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, again, landing him on IR.
The recent slew injuries along the defensive line that include Jones, Ronald Blair III and Damontre Moore who all are on Injured Reserve, and Dee Ford (hamstring) and Jullian Taylor (elbow) who are both ruled out for Sunday, may potentially open the door for Street to make his NFL debut in Week 15.
“He’s been real good. Just getting him back out there, I know how hard he’s worked to get out there,” Shanahan said of Street. “I think each week he’s gotten more of his legs under him. He’s been ready to go, but to get into football practice and everything, holding his gaps and stuff, looked in shape, healthy from the beginning and now getting these weeks of practice. He definitely looks ready to go this week and he’s getting his opportunity.”
Added Street: “I feel completely back to normal now. Even coming back and practicing during training camp and OTAs, it still felt a little bit limiting. But right now is probably the best I’ve felt since prior to the injury.”
Jones started 11 games in San Francisco and recorded two sacks, two quarterback hits, 23 total tackles and a crucial forced fumble in Week 14 against the Saints.
As for the rest of the team heading into Sunday’s game against the Falcons, Richard Sherman (hamstring), Jaquiski Tartt (ribs), and K’Waun Williams (concussion) were ruled OUT for Week 15.