Chris Culliver Injury: Updates on San Francisco 49ers Cornerback's Knee
An MRI has revealed that San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver tore the ACL in his left knee during Thursday's training camp practice.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the specifics of the injury:
I'm told #49ers CB Chris Culliver tore his ACL today during practice. Terrible. A late MRI revealed the news.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2013
Culliver was participating in a punt coverage drill when the man who was blocking him, rookie defensive back Marcus Cooper, appeared to get tangled up with him, according to The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch.
49ers head coach Jim Habraugh and secondary coach Ed Donatell rushed over to tend to the ailing Culliver, who got up and put a bit of weight on the injured leg. General manager Trent Baalke also put his arm around Culliver as he exited practice.
Mike Sando of ESPN responded to colleague Adam Schefter's tweet confirming the injury, noting that it looked as though there was minimal contact involved:
Was standing 15 yds away. Looked like classic non-contact freak injury. RT @AdamSchefter: 49ers CB Chris Culliver did tear ACL.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@espn_nfcwest) August 2, 2013
In his report, Branch also notes how Culliver was in tears as he was getting carted off the field. It was an early indication that he was not only in a significant amount of physical pain, but that he also knew the injury was serious.
The 24-year-old Culliver was selected in the third round by San Francisco in the 2011 draft and, per Branch, was slated to be the team's No. 3 cornerback in 2013.
San Francisco's secondary has certainly taken a hit in terms of depth. This development puts even more pressure on rookie free safety Eric Reid, a first-round pick out of LSU, to be an immediate impact player on the back end. Reid is replacing All-Pro Dashon Goldson, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
The situation also adds weight to newly acquired corner Nnamdi Asomugha to get his career quickly back on track and fill in as the primary nickel cornerback. That's especially so since the Niners' attempted trade for ex-Bucs cornerback Eric Wright fell through after a failed physical.
Last season, Culliver unfortunately gained some notoriety for anti-gay remarks he made during the playoffs, which he did apologize for.
Culliver played a significant role in the 49ers' vaunted defense in 2012, though, appearing in all 16 games. He had 47 tackles, defended 14 passes and snagged two interceptions.
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