Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers appear likely to be without one of their key starters on the defensive line.
The Detroit Lions are hosting the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 of the 2021 regular season and both teams have declared their injury designations ahead of the matchup. The Lions will be without their left tackle Taylor Decker, while the 49ers may very well be without their best interior defensive lineman, as Javon Kinlaw is listed as Doubtful.
Let’s take a closer look at the 49ers’ injury report.
WR Jalen Hurd (knee)
Hurd, as you may remember from his college days, was once Tennessee’s starting running back ahead of Alvin Kamara—nice call Butch Jones—before transferring to Baylor and switching positions to receiver, eventually being drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft by the 49ers. Since then, he has landed on injured reserve each of the last two years, and is being speculated as being placed there once again.
DT Javon Kinlaw (knee)
CB Emmanuel Mosley (knee)
Kinlaw didn’t practice on Wednesday, was very limited on Thursday, then missed practice again on Friday. Coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t ready to rule him out just yet, according to our friends over at Niners Nation, but will reevaluate Kinlaw’s health again on Saturday before making final decision. If he is downgraded to out, his replacement would likely square up against Lions’ Jonah Jackson on Sunday.
Mosley was projected to start opposite Jason Verrett, and despite not practicing all week, some of the beat writers still think he may play on Sunday. It would be a bit unusual to not practice at all, and then be ready to play in a game, but it’s happened before. He is also likely headed towards a Saturday health reevaluation.
DT Kevin Givens (hip)
Givens didn’t practice on Wednesday but got in limited work on Thursday and Friday. If Kinlaw isn’t available, Givens would be next in line for a key role, but if both are unavailable it would be a significant blow to their defensive line.
No injury designation
QB Trey Lance (right finger)
WR, Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring)
OG Aaron Banks (shoulder)
EDGE Nick Bosa (knee)
EDGE Dee Ford (back)
LB Dre Greenlaw (hip)
CB Jason Verrett (foot)
Every player on this list saw a full week of practice, except Lance, who was limited all week with a injury to his throwing hand. With no injury designation assigned, the 49ers may feel comfortable dialing up some specific plays for him to get him experience, as well as give the Lions some different looks on offense. The Lions say they have been preparing for both Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo (the presumed starter) all week.
“I think you’ve got to prepare for both,” Lions’ coach Dan Campbell said at his press conference on Monday. “You have to assume that they may try to mix (Lance) in there and use him a little bit. We’ll make sure that we’ve taken care of some of that.”