By C.J. Peterson
Special to S.F. Examiner
On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that starting free safety Adrian Colbert will be placed on injured reserve after sustaining a high ankle sprain early in the second quarter. He will miss six to eight weeks, and will “probably not” return later this season, Shanahan said.
“He made a real good play on the play he got hurt on,” Shanahan said. “They tried to challenge us, go over the top, which you want the corner there on, but usually the middle-third player will show up with the speed Colbert has, and he did and he made a good play and unfortunately he got hurt.”
Colbert was injured while falling to the ground after a leaping attempt at an interception. Rams quarterback Jared Goff had targeted wide receiver Brandin Cooks 40-yards down field near San Francisco’s 10-yard line when Colbert, Cooks and 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon collided in mid-air.
As a result of the trio’s fight for the ball, Colbert landed awkwardly on his right leg. A medical cart was sent out to the field to transport Colbert to the team’s locker room.
Colbert was seen later in the fourth quarter limping along the sidelines, suggesting that the injury was not as severe as originally thought to be, but the diagnosis of a high ankle sprain would prove otherwise.
To replace Colbert on Sunday, the 49ers sent rookie defensive back, D.J. Reed Jr. in at free safety. During his time on the field, Reed helped the San Francisco force two Los Angeles punts. The 49ers also limited the Rams to 107 yards after Colbert’s departure.
“We’ve got to see if Jimmie Ward is ready to practice,” Shanahan said, referring to the DB who was sidelined this past week with a hamstring injury. “But D.J. Reed will have the first chance up.
“D.J. plays very hard, he goes in there, he runs and hits. He’s done some good things. He’s still a rookie, needs to play more. I know he’ll have some learning curves as he does that, but the game is not too big for him and he’s a guy we do believe in.”