Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff WriterNov 20, 2023, 12:32 PM ET
- Nick Wagoner is an NFL newsman astatine ESPN. Nick has covered the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL astatine ESPN since 2016, having antecedently covered the St. Louis Rams for 12 years, including 3 years (2013 to 2015) astatine ESPN. In his 10 years with the company, Nick has led ESPN's sum of the Niners' 2019 Super Bowl run, Colin Kaepernick's protest, the Rams making Michael Sam the archetypal openly cheery subordinate drafted to the NFL, Sam's consequent pursuit of a roster spot and the team's relocation and stadium saga. You tin travel Nick via Twitter @nwagoner
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Tests confirmed that San Francisco 49ers information Talanoa Hufanga suffered a torn ACL successful his close genu against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, manager Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.
Shanahan had indicated connected Sunday aft the Niners' 27-14 win that the enactment was bracing for an ACL wounded that could mean the extremity of Hufanga's 2023 season.
With 8:40 near successful the 3rd quarter, Bucs backmost Baker Mayfield dumped a walk disconnected successful the close level to moving backmost Rachaad White. As White worked upfield, Hufanga closed successful to effort the tackle but spot connected an wrong fake from White, who ran past him for an 11-yard gain. Hufanga planted his close limb into the ground, and erstwhile helium attempted to crook with White's cut, his close genu appeared to buckle.
Hufanga was dilatory to get up aft the play and went consecutive to the bluish aesculapian structure connected the sideline. After helium spent a fewer minutes successful the tent, a cart came retired and took Hufanga to the locker room. He was ruled retired astir instantly aft leaving connected the cart.
Rookie Ji'Ayir Brown, a third-round prime retired of Penn State, replaced Hufanga astatine beardown safety. After immoderate archetypal struggles, including allowing a agelong completion that led to Tampa Bay's 2nd touchdown, Brown came done with a fourth-down walk breakup and an interception, some successful San Francisco's extremity zone, that helped sphere the victory.
"Praying for Huf, hopefully it's thing serious," moving backmost Christian McCaffrey said Sunday. "Ji'Ayir did a large occupation stepping up. I deliberation that's a testament to him and his quality and being prepared. It's besides a testament to Huf and the enactment that he's shown getting him acceptable to go."
If Hufanga does miss an extended period, it would beryllium Brown who would measurement into the starting lineup successful his place. Hufanga was a first-team All-Pro successful 2022 and is 4th connected the squad successful tackles (51) and tied for archetypal successful interceptions (3) this season.
Brown had mostly been constricted to a peculiar teams relation earlier Sunday but finished with 4 tackles, 3 passes defended and his archetypal vocation interception against the Bucs.