Robert Saleh. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

How will the 49ers fill the void left by Tank Carradine?

The 49ers’ lone appearance in primetime was not kind. Playing on a short week for Thursday Night Football, several players were hurt.

Tank Carradine, a former starting defensive end, was lost for the season was lost for the season with an ankle injury. Now, the Niners will have to figure out how to fill his snaps.

First-round pick Solomon Thomas seems like the obvious answer. But defensive coordinator Robert Saleh wasn’t quite ready to commit to that plan on Thursday. 

“On first and second down, we’re trying to make do,” he said. “I shouldn’t say make do, that’s such a terrible term, but we have really good football players on the front that are capable of doing a lot of different things.”

Saleh said he’s going to put his four best players on the field instead of trying to “pigeonhole” players for certain positions.

He’s likely being a typical, cagey football coach because the 49ers can slow play Thomas for only so long. 

One possibility: Aaron Lynch could prolong his career by taking advantage of the extra snaps he should receive.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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