SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga out for season with torn ACL

Nov 20, 2023, 10:20 AM | Updated: 10:47 am

Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts during an NFL football game between the San F...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts during an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers may have won their game in Week 11, but they lost Talanoa Hufanga for the rest of the season in the process.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Monday morning that the team’s All-Pro safety suffered a torn ACL in Week 11, putting him on the shelf for the rest of the 2023 season. The news comes after the 49ers’ worst fears were realized last night, with an MRI confirming the diagnosis thereafter.

Hufanga suffered the injury at the 8:40 mark of the third quarter, slipping on the field as he went to tackle Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White. The player’s right knee gave out on the play, but he was able to limp off the field to the sideline. After spending some time in the blue medical tent, the safety was carted to the locker room. He left Levi’s Stadium on crutches, with a brace over his injured knee, unable to put much weight on it.

The USC alum has been a revelation for the 49ers since bursting on the scene in 2022. Named an All-Pro in Year 1 as a starter, “Huf” had been working towards that goal once more this season. While his stats aren’t as eye-popping in Year 2 (52 combined tackles and three interceptions), the Polynesian standout was improving each week before suffering the injury.

“I thought he started out well,” Shanahan said Monday about Hufanga’s play. “I thought he hit a little lull during the season in our skid. I thought he played one of his best games versus Jacksonville, And I thought the same thing was going to happen [in Week 11]. But, I thought he was having a real good year.”

Some good news came from the MRI though, as no damage to his meniscus was revealed to further complicate the recovery. Still, he will face a long rehabilitation process with his right knee this offseason. But if all goes well, Talanoa Hufanga should be ready to go for Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season.

For now, rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown will fill in, doing an admirable job in the fourth quarter of Week 11. The Penn State alum finished with four tackles, three pass break-ups, and his first career interception to close the door on Tampa Bay.

While the 49ers would have preferred to bring Brown along slowly (similar to Talanoa Hufanga), the rookie standout is needed in the present, something the 49ers believe he is ready for.

“One of the reasons we went for him [in the draft], we knew we needed some depth there. The cool thing about him is, I think you heard it from guys yesterday, but the way he’s been practicing here every week like he knew this moment would come. He’s been locked in and it’s extremely impressive for a rookie and I think that’s why he was ready for his moment last night and made some big plays and helped us win. So, excited for him, for his opportunity but really bummed about Huf,” Shanahan said.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Thursday, Nov. 23rd @ Seattle Seahawks – 5:20 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 3rd @ Philadelphia Eagles – 1:25 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 10th vs. Seattle Seahawks – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Arizona Cardinals – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Monday, Dec. 25th vs. Baltimore Ravens – 5:15 p.m. PST

Thank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter and Google News, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Newsletter

San Francisco 49ers

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on prior to a game against the Washington...

Amiliano Fragoso

49ers Kyle Shanahan unfazed by key absences during OTAs

Kyle Shanahan isn't bothered by several star absences at OTAs this week, focusing on football only at this time.

1 day ago

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers breaks a tackle from Jalen Thompson #34 of the Arizona...

Amiliano Fragoso

Report: Brandon Aiyuk expected to miss 49ers OTAs amidst contract dispute

The start of 49ers OTAs this week comes with big decisions and more dominoes to fall, with Brandon Aiyuk being the first to play his hand. Reports emerged Tuesday morning that the San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver will not be in attendance for Organized Team Activities beginning this week. Aiyuk and SF have been in […]

2 days ago

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers leads a huddle in action during a game between the San F...

Amiliano Fragoso

San Francisco 49ers release 2024 regular season schedule

The San Francisco 49ers released their 2024 regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon, with six prime-time games on the slate.

8 days ago

Outside linebacker Aldon Smith #99 and teammate nose tackle Glenn Dorsey #90 of the San Francisco 4...

Amiliano Fragoso

Former 49ers OLB Aldon Smith details his struggles during his playing career

Former 49ers OLB Aldon Smith joined the Drive Guys Wednesday to talk about the 2024 Dwight Clark Legacy Series and all the event entails.

8 days ago

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy walks the sidelines before the MLB baseball game betwee...

Amiliano Fragoso

Watch: Brock Purdy throws out first pitch at Giants game Tuesday

San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy threw out the first pitch at the SF Giants' game Tuesday, delivering some high heat on the mound.

8 days ago

Chris Hubbard #66 of the Tennessee Titans during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Nissan Sta...

Amiliano Fragoso

San Francisco 49ers sign OL Chris Hubbard to one-year deal

Reports emerged Tuesday that the San Francisco 49ers were signing veteran OL Chris Hubbard to a one-year deal.

9 days ago

49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga out for season with torn ACL