San Francisco 49ers Fullback Kyle Juszczyk Out 4-6 Weeks With Knee Injury
The 49ers are surprisingly unbeaten at 4-0 after Monday night’s routing of the Cleveland Browns. If they plan to continue that unbeaten streak, they will have to do it without their lead run blocker Kyle Juszczyk.
The 49ers beat the Browns, who were predicted to have a break out year, 31 – 3. They seemed lifeless from the first quarter, maybe due to the Niners running for an 83 yard touchdown, thanks in large part to Juszczyk’s blocking.
As opposed to most games that focus on big plays (Touchdowns, fumbles, interceptions, etc.), some TV time was placed on Juszczyk, probably because the Niners had over 180 running yards by halftime. Can’t do that without blocking. But now and MRI shows an MCL sprain that will keep him out from four to six weeks.
The 49ers are one of the few teams left that feature a fullback, a position long since replaced in the league. Fullbacks are mostly hybrids, who can catch, run and block. At 6’1″ 235 lbs, Juszczyk is not only strong, but is really fast, which was on display Monday. He went down in the third after colliding with a defender while blocking for Running Back Matt Breida, who went on to get the first down and then some. The collision was helmet to leg as Juszczyk was flying forward on the block. Initially it did not look like there was an injury, but he was slow to get up, showed a bit of frustration apparently when he realized something was wrong, and then was carted off the field.
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The running game is one of the strongest assets of the 49ers, as it has allowed Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the ability to get comfortable in center by keeping the defense guessing, in his first full season with the team. He went 20 – 29 with 189 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers have been decent, with the team finding other well rounded ways to win. With Juszczyk out, they will need to find solutions before they play the LA Rams this week. Although the Rams were favorites this year to go far, they are only 3 – 2 after another tough loss and have not looked like the Rams of last year. Jared Goff is getting rushed and sacked way more than last year, and highest paid back Todd Gurley has been suffering through arthritis in his knee. Be that as it may, they are still dangerous and a bounce back to form may be imminent.
We’ll see what the Niners do without their star Fullback this Sunday 10/13 at 4:05 p.m. EST
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