Cornerback Chris Culliver went down with an apparent knee injury and had to carted away earlier in the day. An MRI later revealed that he had torn his ACL and will miss the 2013 season as a result.
While losing a player with a torn ACL is bad for a team who already had a player go down with the same injury earlier in camp (Darius Fleming), the loss of Culliver does not change the situation for the 49ers at the cornerback position. The fact of the matter remains that the 49ers are still looking to upgrade at that position.
Even before the injury to Culliver, it was clear that the biggest question mark the 49ers had was related to the cornerback position.
Now with Culliver having gone down, the only thing that will change is that instead of five to six players vying for starting spots at the cornerback position, it’ll be four or five. As the attempted trade for Eric Wright highlighted, confidence in Culliver and the current crop of cornerbacks on the 49ers roster was not that high to begin with.
While losing a key component from a defense that played as well as the 49ers did during the 2012 season is a blow to a team, the fact is that he was not an integral part of the success the 49ers’ defense. His loss pales when compared to the losses of Jeremy Maclin and Dennis Pitta for their respective teams.
In a training camp season around the NFL which has been marred with key players going down with serious season-ending injuries, the 49ers became the latest victim; fortunately, their loss is one that shouldn’t change the team’s outlook at all.