With injuries being a theme of the San Francisco 49ers season so far, more bad luck may not come as a surprise.
The latest of San Francisco’s issues comes as star defensive end Nick Bosa was carted off the field in the first quarter of the 49ers’ Week 2 game with the New York Jets, as the defender got wrapped up in a block away from the football.
After the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Bosa likely suffered an ACL tear, confirming the worst for the team and San Francisco fans.
To make matters worse for the 49ers, starting defensive tackle Solomon Thomas was also carted off the field just a pair of plays after Bosa went down.
While Thomas isn’t quite the name-brand star that Bosa has already become in just one season in the NFL, it’s still a massive loss to lose two starters in mere moments.
The team is slightly more hopeful for Thomas according to Matt Maiocco, but it still doesn’t look good.
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The 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year didn’t just stand out after joining San Francisco as the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, he became a cornerstone piece as the 49ers made their run to Super Bowl LIV.
While that included 9 sacks in the regular season, along with a pick-six and a plethora of other big plays, it was Bosa’s rise in the playoffs that truly set him apart from the other big-name rookies around the league.
Four sacks in three games against impressive offensive lines like the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs proved that he wasn’t just performing when the pressure was off, but was seemingly getting better as the lights grew brighter.
While Bosa didn’t register a sack against the Arizona Cardinals in the 49ers’ Week 1 loss, he consistently beat his blockers and brought pressure on quarterback Kyler Murray, but the elusive quarterback showed why he was the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The weakside edge-rusher is arguably the most important position on an NFL defense. As seen with the 49ers last season, a consistent and dominant pass rush can dictate a game, and is the foundation to any type of success when it comes to defending the pass.
To sum it up, it’s an immeasurable loss in terms of value for the 49ers defense.
Solomon Thomas Minutes Later
Thomas was really starting to show progress this year, which is why his injury is also such a shame.
Since joining the 49ers as the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Thomas hasn’t lived up to the billing he set for himself while at Oregon.
But despite that, there was still plenty of optimism for Thomas, especially since he was going to get extended, consistent time on the interior defensive line where he’s been the most successful throughout his football career.
As mentioned, not nearly as vital as Bosa, but still another huge loss for the 49ers.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.