The 49ers will be without their leading receiver for the rest of the season after Pierre Garcon was diagnosed with a broken bone in his neck.
The 49ers signed Garcon, 31, during free agency because of his familiarity with Kyle Shanahan’s system and because they felt he would add toughness to the 49ers’ offense.
He had done that over the first eight games, leading the 49ers with 40 catches and 500 receiving yards. Aldrick Robinson likely will take over Garcon’s starting role with undrafted rookie Kendrick Bourne also getting a more prominent spot in the receiver rotation.
Garcon was injured in the second quarter of Sunday’s game when he was hit along the sideline and went sprawling into the Philadelphia bench area, including into Eagles players and staff members. No flag was thrown on the play.
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He remained on the ground for perhaps a minute before being taken to the 49ers sideline. He returned to the game in the third quarter but did not finish the contest.
Asked after the game whether he thought the hit was late, Garcon said, “They didn’t call it. Just move on and keep playing.”
According to the 49ers, the receiver suffered a displaced fracture of the “C5 pedicle,” which is a stub of bone in the neck. It’s an eight-week recovery, meaning Garcon is finished for the season.
He is the 17th player the 49ers will have placed on injured reserve this season. Another, tackle Garry Gilliam (knee), likely will go on injured reserve later this week while defensive lineman Ronald Blair (hand) is eligible to come off injured reserve before Sunday’s game. Another defensive lineman, Tank Carradine (ankle), can play again in three weeks.
Earlier this week, the 49ers traded for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo but have set no date for when he could enter the lineup. As it stands now, the team’s top offensive lineman, Joe Staley, is out with a fractured eye socket that also occurred on a questionable play in Philadelphia.
There is hope that Staley could return after the team’s Nov. 19 bye.