The San Francisco 49ers entered the 2018 NFL regular season with high hopes and playoff aspirations. Unfortunately, the Niners’ season was sidetracked in Week 3 when franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch knew San Francisco would face a difficult start to the 2018 season, as their first four opponents finished the previous year with winning records. The Niners completed the first quarter of the 2018 season with a single victory in four games, which is a reasonable outcome for an up-and-coming team, but the loss of their star QB leaves little hope for a potential 2018 playoff run.
Second-year quarterback C.J. Beathard is now under center for the 49ers, so the team remains a worthy opponent, as the Los Angeles Chargers learned during their two-point victory last Sunday. With Garoppolo sidelined, the Niners won’t be playing deep into January, but they will still have the opportunity to develop their younger players and continue to build a team identity over the course of the 2018 season.
All is not lost for San Francisco, as the 49ers have a plethora of young talent on the roster. Some of these youngsters have begun to flourish over the first quarter of the season, while others have already blossomed into potential long-term superstars.
The injuries that continue to plague San Francisco certainly hurts the team in the short-term, but they’ve also opened the door for younger players to thrive. The future is still bright for the 49ers; while the addition of Garoppolo initially put the team’s rebuild into overdrive, San Francisco may simply have to revert to their previous two-year plan for a return to the playoffs.
Here are the San Francisco 49ers’ top-5 standout players over the first quarter of the 2018 regular season:
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