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49ers' Pierre Garcon will go to IR with neck injury

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers added another big name to their ever-growing list of injuries Thursday when the team confirmed that wide receiver Pierre Garcon will be going on injured reserve because of a neck issue.

According to the Niners, Garcon suffered what, in medical terms, is called a non-displaced fracture of the c 5 pedicle, which is a small piece of bone in the neck located just below the skull. It's considered an eight-week injury and with that many games left in the Niners' season, a return would not be possible before the end of the year.

San Francisco general manager John Lynch first revealed the injury on KNBR radio in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.

"For every step going forward, we seem to be taking another one as we're going back," Lynch told the radio station. "That was a crushing blow and we're figuring out what we're going to do on that."

Garcon suffered the injury in last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after he was pushed out along the Eagles sideline after a catch. There was no penalty on the play. He spoke to reporters after the game and believed at the time that the injury wasn't serious.

"I'll be all right," Garcon said after the game. "I'll be good to go."

Further tests on Wednesday night revealed that Garcon would not be good to go and the Niners came to the decision that they would have to put him on injured reserve, according to Lynch.

Garcon was one of the first free agents that Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan targeted in the offseason, signing him to a five-year, $47 million deal in March. He instantly became the team's No. 1 receiver and led the team in receiving with 40 catches for 500 yards through the first eight games.

The Niners were hit hard by injuries against Philadelphia, also losing free safety Jimmie Ward (broken arm) and tackle Garry Gilliam (knee) to season-ending ailments. Left tackle Joe Staley (eye) and defensive end Solomon Thomas (knee) also suffered injuries, though both are expected back in a few weeks.

Without Garcon, veteran Aldrick Robinson is expected to step into the starting lineup with rookie Kendrick Bourne offering depth.

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