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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN ranks three 49ers among the most impactful injuries from Week 2, with Nick Bosa at No. 1

Sep 21, 2020 at 9:11 AM--

Bill Barnwell of ESPN ranked the most impactful injuries that emerged from Week 2's slate of NFL games. At the top of the list was second-year defensive end Nick Bosa, who is believed to have suffered a torn ACL. That would mean an end to his season.

"Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, was one of the biggest additions to the 49ers' defense when coordinator Robert Saleh's unit took a step forward last season," wrote Barnwell. "He played a full season, racking up nine sacks and 25 hits before adding four more sacks in the postseason. Bosa would have been a viable Super Bowl MVP selection if the 49ers had held onto their lead against the Chiefs. The Ohio State product played 76% of the defensive snaps as a rookie, and when he wasn't on the field, San Francisco's passer rating allowed jumped by 10.5 points."

Bosa wasn't the only significant loss for the 49ers. The defensive line also lost former No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas. That creates some depth issues along the front with defensive end Dee Ford already out. The severity of Ford's neck injury hasn't been confirmed.

Barnwell believes the losses could force the 49ers to up their offer to pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who left a workout with the team last week after the two sides could not agree on a deal.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the 49ers are flying in Ansah to the East Coast, where the team is staying this week, with the expectation that the defender will sign.

Who was No. 2 on Barnwell's list? That would be running back Saquon Barkley, who suffered an ACL injury on Sunday. The 49ers were slated to face him in Week 3 when they return to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Giants.

No. 4 on Barnwell's ranking is 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss some time. How much time is not yet certain. For at least this weekend, it will likely be Nick Mullens leading the offense as Garoppolo recovers.

Garoppolo played well before his Week 2 injury, completing 87.5 percent of his passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 140.4 during the first half against the New York Jets. He earned Pro Football Focus' second-highest grade from the matchup. The highest was achieved by tight end Jordan Reed, who hauled in each of Garoppolo's touchdown passes.

"A high ankle sprain is a disastrous injury for a running back or wide receiver, but it's not as concerning for a quarterback," notes Barnwell. "Garoppolo would be worse off if he scrambled on any sort of regular basis, but that's not really his game."

Barnwell does note when playing on an ankle sprain could be problematic for Garoppolo.

"While coach Kyle Shanahan sprung two long runs off pitches against the Jets on Sunday," he wrote, "the 49ers typically build their offense around the outside zone and play-action off that core concept, both of which ask the quarterback to take a number of steps and hit a particular mesh point at an exact time. Those steps are going to be painful, and it might throw off the timing of the run game."

The other issue could be with Garoppolo's ability to plant his foot, which could lead to riskier throws.

"A healthy Garoppolo is prone to some questionable decisions, so his interception rate could rise in the weeks before his ankle heals," adds Barnwell.

The last 49ers player on the list is running back Raheem Mostert, who sits at No. 12. He reportedly suffered a sprained MCL against the Jets. Tevin Coleman also suffered what Shanahan said is a knee injury. The severity of that injury is not yet known.

That may mean some more playing time for Jerick McKinnon, who looked good against the Jets, and Jeff Wilson Jr. The 49ers also have JaMycal Hasty on their practice squad.

"Mostert's injury sounds like it won't keep him out for very long, which is good news," wrote Barnwell. "The undrafted free agent has looked terrifyingly fast this season, racking up long touchdowns in each of the first two games."

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