The San Francisco 49ers hit the road to Cowboys Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys, but didn’t expect to lose a major star.
In the second quarter, an incredibly unlucky play struck the 49ers and star defensive end Nick Bosa. Bosa had been a force all season with 15.5 regular-season sacks and a league-leading 21 tackles for loss, per PFR.
He brought the same energy in Dallas, combining with Samson Ebukam for a sack in the first quarter. But as mentioned, Bosa was hit in the head area extremely hard during a pass rush attempt by fellow defensive lineman D.J. Jones.
Bosa was coming around the edge and being held by Cowboys tackle La’el Collins, which was called for a penalty. However, Jones was being deflected from Dallas QB Dak Prescott by his blocker and was instead sent right into Bosa’s head and neck.
After the halftime break, there was uncertainty whether the defensive end would be able to comeback, initially being labeled as questionable to return. However, the worst was then confirmed by the team a few minutes into the third quarter.
It’s a brutal loss for the Niners. Besides losing a key player in the current game, basically any other games the 49ers play in this playoffs could be without Bosa, although concussions are typically 1-2 week injuries.
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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan Can’t Believe All-Pro Snub
One of the talking points about Bosa this past week was the fact that he wasn’t selected to the NFL All-Pro team, getting one less vote than Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, who finished with 7.5 less sacks.
When 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Bosa after the All-Pro team was announced, he couldn’t help but get passionate. For the San Francisco head coach, he’s not just a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, but Defensive Player of the Year.
“I don’t think people appreciate how good Bosa is play-in and play-out,” Shanahan said per ESPN reporter Adam Schefter. “I’ve heard people talk about him for Comeback Player of the Year, and every time they say that, I can’t believe he hasn’t been mentioned in Defensive Player of the Year.”
After seeing the All-Pro results, one has to wonder if Bosa is even being considered in the DPOY voting. His 15.5 regular-season sacks are fourth in the NFL, but that still warrants a conversation.
Bosa’s 49ers Teammate Recovers in Time for Dallas
Each concussion and injury is different and unique, so there’s no guarantee that Bosa could have the same recovery time. But 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky recovering from a concussion in time for the Wild Card round is at least encouraging context.
Wishnowsky passed concussion protocol and was activated on Saturday, as the team’s website says. The punter was hurt after trying to make a tackle in the 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
It’s impossible to say which hit was worse, but it is a recent reminder of what to expect this week for Bosa: no practice, not a lot of information on his recovery or progress through protocols and an announcement very close to gameday about whether he’ll be able to suit up.