San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga had to leave the game early with an ACL injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He suffered the injury in the third quarter. After trying to change direction for a tackle, his right knee buckled and fell to the ground. Hufanga was later carted to the locker room.

Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers coach, said it was likely the end of the season for Hufanga.

“I’m a little concerned,” Shanahan said. “We don’t know for sure. Most likely it’s ACL, but we can’t confirm it so we’ll find out later.”

A 2022 pro bowler, Hufanga has been essential to the 49ers’ defense. He has had 51 combined tackles, one tackle for loss, three passes defended and three interceptions. The 49ers, who are 7-3 in the NFC West, will look to stay atop their division without the help of one of their key members.

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