49ers fear Talanoa Hufanga tore ACL
After being carted off with a knee injury midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the San Francisco 49ers fear that All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga suffered a torn ACL, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game.
The team will not confirm the official prognosis of the injury until further testing is done this week.
“We’ll find out tomorrow on that,” Shanahan said after Sunday’s game. “We don’t know for sure. Most likely it’s ACL but can’t confirm it so we’ll find out later.”
49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan told reporters that safety Talanoa Hufanga “most likely” tore his ACL. There will be further testing to confirm their belief.&mdash; Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2023
Hufanga, 23, has been a staple in the 49ers secondary each of the last two seasons. Heading into Sunday, he racked up 51 tackles–38 solod–with one tackle-for-loss and three interceptions in nine games. He exited Sunday’s game trying to tackle Buccaneers running back Rachaad White in open space.
Last season, in his first full year as a starter, he had 66 tackles with four interceptions, nine passes defended and a pair of sacks, earning first-team All-Pro and his first Pro Bowl nod. Rookie Ji’Ayir Brown took over and intercepted Mayfield, helping seal the victory.
“Praying for Huf, hopefully it’s nothing serious,” 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey said. “Ji’Ayir did a great job stepping up. I think that’s a testament to him and his character and being prepared. It’s also a testament to Huf and the leadership that he’s shown getting him ready to go.”
San Francisco has a very strong front-seven, spearheaded by Nick Bosa and Fred Warner. But Hufanga’s impact will be missed on the back-end. Its next five games will be against the Seattle Seahawks (twice), Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals (with a healthy Kyler Murray) and Baltimore Ravens. That’s not the easiest slate in the world, so it will be interesting to see how San Francisco can mitigate the loss.
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