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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Uncertainty looms for 49ers as kicker injuries disrupt plans

Uncertainty looms for 49ers as kicker injuries disrupt plans

Publish Date: 08/27/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The San Francisco 49ers face uncertainty at kicker as both rookie Jake Moody and veteran Zane Gonzalez suffer injuries. Moody strained his right quadriceps, so his status for the season opener on September 10 is uncertain.

Gonzalez, dealing with a calf strain, will be sidelined for several weeks. Consequently, the team plans to hold kicker workouts to ensure options for the opener if Moody remains unavailable.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Saturday that he had never encountered a situation in which both kickers in their camp were unavailable just days before finalizing the roster.

“I think these next couple days are real important just for us to just see how the rehab’s going and things like that and trying to guess where it’s going to be two weeks from now when we kick off,” Shanahan said.

The Niners had hoped for kicker stability when they drafted Moody out of Michigan with the 99th overall pick. He has showcased his strong leg in practice but struggled during games. The 23-year-old missed two field goals in his debut against Las Vegas and an extra point last week. However, he redeemed himself with a game-winning field goal against Denver.

Other injuries in 49ers

San Francisco faces additional injury challenges besides their kickers, notably a meniscus injury to rookie tight end Cameron Latu, who likely needs surgery. The team must decide whether to include him in the initial 53-man roster to keep his season prospects open.

Backup running back Elijah Mitchell also contends with hip tightness. At the same time, All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga underwent a cyst removal procedure behind his knee, requiring a few days’ rest for recovery.

Wide receiver Chris Conley has a day-to-day AC sprain in his shoulder, running back Jordan Mason has a day-to-day sprained foot, safety Taylor Hawkins needs hand surgery and cornerback A.J. Parker will miss several weeks due to a hamstring injury.

Additionally, receivers Ray-Ray McCloud (wrist) and Danny Gray (shoulder) are dealing with injuries that could sideline them into the season. This could complicate the Niners’ roster decisions before Tuesday’s deadline.

The Niners have another significant query before the opener. They need to resolve the holdout of All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa. The Defensive Player of the Year aims to secure a long-term contract, replacing the fifth-year option on his rookie deal and potentially obtaining the richest deal ever for a defensive player.

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