6-Time Pro Bowl Offensive Tackle Suffers Broken Leg in Week 2

Getty Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.

Joe Staley has suffered a broken left fibula.

As the San Francisco 49ers ran over the Cincinnati Bengals in one of their most dominating efforts in recent memory, the Niners couldn’t escape the game without some bad news. According to various reports, the longtime offensive tackle suffered a broken left fibula and will be sidelined for eight weeks.

Joe Staley Had to Be Carted Off to the Locker Room

As Jon Becker of Bay Area News Group documented, Staley suffered the injury towards the end of the third quarter on what appeared to be a basic run play. Staley had to be carted off of the field to the locker room.

“The leader of the 49ers’ offensive line had to be carted off the field at the end of the third quarter when he injured his lower left leg on a 6-yard Raheem Mostert run. The 35-year-old Staley was pulling to his left on the play and was tripped, possibly by Mostert’s leg as he ran past him. Staley immediately grabbed his leg near his ankle after falling to the turf. Tight end George Kittle was seen frantically calling for trainers to come check on Staley.”
Here is the clip of when Staley suffered the injury during the 41-17 victory.
The aftermath portrays just how bad the injury was, as it took four Niners trainers to help Staley up.

Despite the prolonged absence, the 35-year-old isn’t expected to be placed on injured reserve.

Joe Staley Had Been Injury-Free Over the Past Eight Seasons

Since the 2011 season, the veteran offensive tackle had missed just a total of four starts. With Staley now sidelined for eight weeks, he isn’t projected to return until Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks at the very earliest.

Since being selected with the 28th overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, Staley has served as the team’s starting left tackle, starting all 176 games that he’s appeared in.

As far as the Niners’ depth is concerned, Justin Skule is the swing tackle, and Daniel Brunskill, who hasn’t played in an NFL game and has been inactive the first two weeks, are the only other tackles on the roster.

In other words, this injury is absolutely devastating.

Staley is a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro tackle. Considering Staley is their longest-tenured player and blocks franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s blindside, this is a major injury for a Niners team that had surprisingly started out the season 2-0.

Garoppolo is just returning after a year-long absence after he suffered his own devastating injury — a torn ACL that wiped out all but three games of his 2018 season.

With the Niners facing the ferocious pass rush of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3 — the Steelers led the NFL in sacks with 52 during the 2018 season — their main objective will be keeping their franchise quarterback upright.

Due to Staley’s injury and their lack of experience behind him, that objective now appears to be a lot more difficult heading into Week 3.

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