49ers defense takes another painful hit with loss of Jaquiski Tartt

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For the second consecutive week, the San Francisco 49ers watched as about a half-dozen of their players departed Sunday's game and did not return because of injury.

For the second week in a row, one of those leaving the game was the starting free safety because of a fractured forearm. Last week, it was Jimmie Ward. This week, it was Jaquiski Tartt.

Now, Tartt is likely off to the same fate as Ward.

"I think it's going to be similar to what happened to Jimmie," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I'd be surprised if he doesn't go on IR."

Rookie Adrian Colbert replaced Tartt at free safety and finished with three tackles and a pass breakup.

Elsewhere on the injury front, the Niners lost fullback Kyle Juszczyk (neck), receiver Trent Taylor (ribs), linebacker Elijah Lee (knee) and tight end Cole Hikutini (knee). A team spokesman said the injury to Hikutini does not involve his anterior cruciate ligament, and Lee needs further testing.

From that group, Juszczyk's injury also could be classified as significant, according to Shanahan.

"I know Juice was a neck issue, so you never know exactly with that," Shanahan said. "I think that happened, I think it was the second quarter. Maybe early third. But we'll have to MRI him and find out more tomorrow."

The Niners lost receiver Pierre Garcon to a neck injury last week and placed him on injured reserve on Saturday, ending his season.

This latest rash of injuries makes it even more difficult for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch to evaluate the team they have in place, considering that six of the team's seven pregame inactives Sunday were not available because of previous ailments.

"Everyone goes through an NFL season. Everyone has injuries," Shanahan said. "We need to build this the right way, so when you do have injuries that you have people who can step up and play. That's what we're going through right now. Hopefully these guys who are playing now and getting some opportunities that they maybe wouldn't have had if we'd stayed healthy, hopefully that will make them better and give us some more depth going into next year."
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