It’s been a doozy of a day for the San Francisco 49ers. It started with the release of linebacker Reuben Foster after his arrest last night and ended with a rather unimpressive showing against the now 4-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which the 2-9 49ers lost, 27-9.
And, Jimmie Ward is most likely out for the season after breaking his forearm today.
After the game, Kyle Shanahan addressed the Reuben Foster situation, saying, “Too many things have happened and we’ve tried to help him out a lot. And I know he has been trying, too. But this was a mess up that it doesn’t matter…It’s been too much. I care about Reuben, but no one is more important than this team.”
The 49ers were facing a Tampa Bay defense that came into the game allowing over 32 points a game and a Tampa Bay offense that was switching quarterbacks like socks and turning the ball over more than anyone else in the NFL.
That defense held the Niners to nine points and that offense didn’t turn the ball over once. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston finished the day 29-of-38 for 312 yards, two touchdowns, adding 24 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, San Francisco QB Nick Mullens was 18-of-32 for 221 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He was also sacked four times for a loss of 27 yards, after coming into the game not having been sacked in his previous two starts. Beyond the stats, it was Mullens shakiest start and one has to wonder whether he will keep the QB1 title as the team prepares to go to Seattle next week.
“I don’t think he played very well…,” said Shanahan. “But it wasn’t all him.”
The 49ers were without their two top receivers in Marquise Goodwin, who was excused to deal with a personal matter, and the injured Pierre Garçon, which certainly didn’t help matters.
On the plus side, running back Matt Breida continued this season’s success in front of him hometown crowd to the tune of 14 carries for 106 yards and three receptions for 34 yards.
Dante Pettis, starting in place of Goodwin, had four receptions for a career-high 77 yards and a touchdown.
As of now, the 49ers have the #1 pick in the draft, but that will not fix everything. The 49ers are a team distracted and a team in trouble.
“I know all the players woke up and saw [what happened with Foster], so I definitely addressed the elephant when I saw them,” Shanahan said. “But, no, it didn’t affect the game at all.”
Hopefully the team can move on and get some decent football in over the next five weeks. It’s a rebuild and they’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do.