San Francisco 49ers defensive end Talanoa Hufanga tore his ACL during the team’s 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
Hufanga suffered a “pure tear” and did not tear the meniscus, Shanahan said. The third-year pro made one tackle before leaving Sunday’s game with an injury. A first-teamer last year, Hufanga has recorded 52 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games this season.
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Hufanga’s pure ACL tear sets up a rehab season for the 2024 season-opening safety. The 49ers will move to rookie Jair Brown to start in Hufanga’s place. After Hufanga went down against the Buccaneers in the third quarter, Brown was replaced on duty.
Brown, the only player in college football to record 10 interceptions over the past two seasons, picked off Baker Mayfield’s pass to seal the 49ers’ victory. He also broke up a pass on a crucial fourth down in the end zone intended for Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans.
Shanahan said Hufanga turned the game around after the game — second only to the rest of the 49ers — during the team’s three-game losing streak. Now, Hufanga hits the road to rehabilitation. The 23-year-old will enter his fourth year in the NFL next season – the final season under contract with the 49ers. – David Lombardi, 49ers staff writer
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(Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images)