SHS’s 49ers fans losing hope in injury-plagued season

November 3, 2020 — by Isaac Le and Andrew Li

49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa gets carted off for a torn ACL during the first quarter of a game against the New York Jets on Sep. 20.

After San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Nick Mullens called for the snap in the fourth quarter of the Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, he floated a pass to All-Pro tight end George Kittle. Kittle made a spectacular catch in between two defenders, colliding with both in the process. 

While he stood up quickly and did his first down celebration, Kittle soon jogged with a limp to the sidelines. Later in the day, 49ers fans learned Kittle would be missing eight weeks — probably the rest of the season — due to a fracture in his foot. If that weren’t bad enough, starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury against Seattle that will sideline him for the second time this season.

“It seems like everything’s against the 49ers this season,” 49ers fan senior Neil Shah said. “It’s beginning to look more and more like a lost season, and more fans are starting to look toward next season, with hopefully a high first round pick to help us return to the Super Bowl.”

Injuries have been the team’s undoing. In addition to Nick Bosa, the 49ers have 19 players on the injured reserve list going into Week 8, the most in the NFL. Other notable players on this list are wide receiver Deebo Samuel and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

With many of the key players from last year’s Super Bowl team missing, the 49ers have struggled through the first eight weeks of football. They currently have a 4-4 record, last in the competitive NFC West, disheartening fans who wished for another deep playoff run. 

“The first few weeks of the 49ers season have been disappointing, to say the least,” 49ers fan senior Mithil Chakraborty said. “However, as a 49ers fan, I think they have adapted well, given the circumstances.”

Although the 49ers have struggled immensely with injuries, several players have taken the opportunity to prove their skills. 

For example, cornerback Jason Verrett, who is currently playing in place of injured All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, scored a 94.0 Pro Football Focus (PFF) overall grade during Week 6’s 24-16 win against the Rams, which was the best PFF overall grade for any cornerback in the league during the first six weeks. In addition, coach Kyle Shanahan is able to get rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and running back Jamycal Hasty more involved in the offense.  

However, the 49ers appeared to take a step back during a 37-27 Week 8 loss against the Seahawks. The offense struggled against the league’s worst passing defense and the defense struggled against quarterback Russell Wilson’s high-octane offense. 

“It’s been very up and down and sometimes hard to watch with all the injuries going on,” Shah said. “I am starting to lose hope in this season, as our team seems more like a hospital at this point. The loss against Seattle showed us that it would probably take a miracle to make the playoffs this year.” 

Regardless of the lackluster beginning to the season, 49ers fans are still happy for the return of the NFL. 

“Without sports, life is boring,” Shah said. “I often had to watch old games that I haven’t seen before or go on YouTube to watch the highlights from last season. I am very glad that college football and the NFL are back as they give me something to look forward to each weekend at home."

 

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