The San Francisco 49ers suffered a big blow on Sunday when center Weston Richburg left in the third quarter of their victory over the New Orleans Saints with a leg injury.
Test results on Monday confirmed bad news. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Richburg suffered a torn patella tendon and will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
The 49ers are also looking at key defensive players missing time for the stretch run of the season.
While it sounds like Sherman and Ford could be back for the playoffs — especially if the 49ers earn a first-round bye — losing Richburg is a setback for the league’s fourth-ranked offense and second-ranked running game. But a bye is no guarantee with games versus the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and a key Week 17 clash with the Seattle Seahawks that could determine the NFC West champion remaining.
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Richburgh, meanwhile, will need surgery and rehab before he returns.
A six-year NFL veteran, Richburg has anchored San Francisco’s interior line for two seasons.
Ben Garland finished Sunday’s game in place of Richburg and is expected to take over at center in his place.
Garland took first-team reps during training camp as Richburg recovered from offseason surgery. He drew positive reviews from his teammates on Sunday, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers had 339 total yards to the Saints’ 265 at the time of Richburg’s injury, but they trailed 30-28.
Center Weston Richburg was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee and ankle. Richburg’s right leg got caught on guard Mike Person’s left leg, causing the center’s leg to awkwardly bend as he went to the ground. The 49ers signed Richburg to a five-year contract in March 2018.
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