The 2017 season is over for rookie running back Joe Williams and guard Joshua Garnett, a first-round draft pick last season who has been the team’s top choice at left guard. Both were placed on season-ending injured reserve on Saturday.
Williams’ injury, which he aggravated Thursday, dates back to his time at the University of Utah. A decision was made Saturday to have the rookie concentrate on his rehabilitation this year so that he’s completely healthy for 2018. Garnett, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury early in training camp. When doctors performed surgery they discovered the injury was more extensive than they expected.
General manager John Lynch said there was plenty of discussion over Garnett and whether he could play this season. They decided, however, that it would be best if Garnett concentrates on his recovery in 2017 and doesn’t rush his return.
"Josh was very much a part of the decision,” Lynch said. “He got comfortable with it. It gave him peace. We think it’s the best situation for him.”
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Williams, who was a fourth-round pick in April, ran the ball 10 times for 53 yards Thursday before being relieved by Kapri Bibbs. Carlos Hyde, rookie Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert are the only tailbacks on San Francisco's initial 53-man roster.
Breida outplayed Williams since the spring and Williams didn't help his cause with a fumble against the Chargers Thursday.
"If you can't hold onto the ball, it's very tough to play in this league," Kyle Shanahan said. "He's had a few of them. So that definitely is alarming, something we have to get fixed."
Also landing on season-ending injured reserve were: Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (hamstring), defensive lineman Chris Jones (groin) and safety Don Jones (knee)