The San Francisco 49ers might be enjoying the fruits of a completely lopsided 41-17 Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, improving to 2-0 on the young 2019 season. But the victory on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium wasn't without loss.

Left tackle Joe Staley went down with what appeared to be a lower leg injury late in the third quarter, following a run block where running back Jeff Wilson tripped over Staley's leg:


Staley stayed down on the field for a short while before walking gingerly off the field with some assistance. But he needed to be carted off the field and into the locker room shortly thereafter and did not return. In his place, the Niners inserted rookie swing tackle Justin Skule to close out the game.

After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Staley suffered a broken fibula.

"We'll find out more tomorrow," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "It should be less than eight weeks, so I don't think [Staley] will be an IR candidate."

The good news is Staley will likely be made available later in the season, reinforcing an offensive line that already has some depth question marks entering 2019. Notably after already having lost swing tackle Shon Coleman to a season-ending injury earlier in the preseason.

"Any time you lose your left tackle, it's always significant," the head coach continued. "Especially when the guy who backed him up, we lost in the preseason. We've got Skule, we've got [Daniel] Brunskill. Guys will have to step it up."

Brunskill had been inactive for San Francisco's first two games of the season. With Staley out indefinitely, that will assuredly change, and it wouldn't be overly shocking to see the 49ers make a roster move between now and their Week 3 home matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Unfortunate for Joe," Shanahan said. "I know how bad he wants to be out there. Once we accept the injury, at least we'll still get him back later this year."

Shanahan also said it would be unlikely the Niners move right tackle Mike McGlinchey over from right tackle to Staley's spot on the left, saying he "didn't want to change two positions, just one."
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.