Updates from Sunday, Sept. 7
The 49ers confirmed that Antoine Bethea is active for Sunday's game vs. Dallas:
#49ers inactives: QB Johnson, WR Patton, CB Cook, T Davis, DT Dial and DT Carradine.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 7, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 30
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area provides an update on Antoine Bethea's status:
#49ers S Antoine Bethea is going through final concussion protocol today, Jim Harbaugh said. He appears to be on pace to start at Dallas.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 30, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19
Jim Harbaugh updated Antoine Bethea's status after suffering a concussion (via the 49ers):
It's every team's nightmare to see a potential starter go down with an injury during a preseason game, and the San Francisco 49ers are the latest victim.
Safety Antoine Bethea suffered a concussion during Sunday's contest against the Denver Broncos, which effectively ended his day. The Denver Post's Mike Klis has the news:
S Antoine Bethea has concussion. That means he's out.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 17, 2014
After the Broncos 34-0 win over the 49ers, Bethea took to Twitter to provide an update for fans:
I'm doing well and I appreciate all of the concern!!— Antoine Bethea (@ABethea24) August 18, 2014
Bethea, who was signed in the offseason on a four-year, $21 million deal to replace the hard-hitting Donte Whitner, was replaced by Craig Dahl. The backup may as well have had a giant bull's-eye on his chest, as Peyton Manning immediately went after him, hooking up with Julius Thomas for an easy 17-yard score.
The good news is Bethea has no history of concussions. Still, it's an injury that has to be taken seriously, and players react differently to its effects. As ESPN's Bill Williamson noted, the 'Niners can ill-afford to be without the 30-year-old:
#49ers Antoine Bethea hurt. Can’t afford to lose antoher defensive starter.— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonESPN) August 17, 2014
NaVorro Bowman will likely miss the first half of the season while rehabbing a torn ACL and MCL. Aldon Smith is facing a potential lengthy suspension. Whitner, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are all on other teams.
Still, Bethea likes the team's new-look secondary, via 49ers.com's Taylor Price:
We have some smart players back there. We have Chris Culliver, who has played some great football and Tramaine Brock. Eric Reid, he made the Pro Bowl last year and P-Cox (Perrish Cox). We have a lot of great pieces in this secondary. We have the ability to do a lot of different things with a lot of great players on the defense.
Still, as Dahl showcased, depth is a potential issue.
Bethea has a solid three weeks to recover before San Francisco's regular-season opener, but this is an obvious story to watch with coach Jim Harbaugh already facing many other holes on the defensive side of the ball.
The 49ers have little room for error—or more injuries—in the crowded NFC West.