The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2013 season as one of the best teams in football.
With a physically dominating offensive line supporting a multi-faceted running game and protecting the emerging face of the franchise in Colin Kaepernick, the 49er offense stands poised for another successful season. On the defensive side, the 49ers remain a preeminent force in the NFL.
Adding cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to the mix sure helped ease the loss of Chris Culliver, but that loss is the big concern for the 49ers as they enter the 2013 season. Overall, the 49ers largest concern is remaining healthy and returning injured players to good health.
On the good side of news, Kendall Hunter is recovering nicely from his Achilles injury and has been activated from the PUP list. His return eases adds an to the running back stable with Frank Gore and LaMaichael James, while draft pick Marcus Lattimore won’t be available until at earliest Week 10 as he recovers from knee surgery.
The loss of Michael Crabtree made addressing the wide receiver position a key issue this preseason, and both Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams continue to recover from injury as well. This leaves the door open for the likes of A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, Ricardo Lockette, or Marlon Moore to see a sizable amount of playing time this coming season.
Patrick Willis fractured his hand, an while the injury won’t keep the star middle linebacker from playing this season, it occurred during practice. The 49ers would like to see such injuries disappear.
In a game hard hits, injuries are inevitable. With the list of players pilling up, the 49ers most certainly are concerned about player health as the 2013 season edges ever closer.
It’s not an issue that will be easily addressed, but depth and shared playing time can reduce the damage of injury. Hopefully the team will remain intact until the 2013 season begins.