SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers will place leading receiver Pierre Garcon on injured reserve for the remainder of the season with a broken bone in his neck.
The 49ers (0-8) said Thursday that Garcon has a non-displaced fracture of the C5 pedicle. The typical rehabilitation time for that type of injury is eight weeks.
Garcon led the team with 40 catches for 500 yards before getting hurt last weekend in a loss at Philadelphia. Garcon had signed a five-year deal this offseason as a free agent that could be worth up to $47.5 million and was one of the few bright spots for a winless team that has been decimated by injuries.
Garcon was on pace for the second most catches and third most yards in his career despite getting suspect quarterback play from Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard.
The injury leaves the Niners with Marquise Goodwin, rookie Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson, and undrafted rookies Kendrick Bourne and Victor Bolden Jr. as the healthy receivers on the roster. That leaves no proven options for newly acquired Jimmy Garoppolo whenever he is ready to take over as starting quarterback.
None of those players have ever caught more than 30 passes in a season and they have combined for 52 catches and 699 yards receiving this season.
This is just the latest injury to hit the Niners, who already had 14 players on injured reserve.
The team has already lost starting guard Joshua Garnett for the season during training camp and will be without left tackle Joe Staley for at least the next two games because of a broken orbital bone.
The defense has been hit even harder with defensive linemen Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair; linebackers Reuben Foster, Malcolm Smith and Aaron Lynch; and defensive backs Jimmie Ward and Eric Reid all missing time this season.
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