San Francisco 49ers to put Jordan Reed, Mark Nzeocha on short-term IR

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers' injured reserve list is about to add two, possibly three more names.

Tight end Jordan Reed (knee sprain) and linebacker Mark Nzeocha (strained quadriceps) are headed to short-term injured reserve, coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday. Defensive end Dee Ford, who has missed the past two games with a back injury, could be joining them later this week.

Reed and Nzeocha were the most serious additions to the Niners' lengthy injury list coming out of Sunday's 36-9 win against the New York Giants. Running back Jerick McKinnon (bruised ribs) and cornerbacks K'Waun Williams (hip) and Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) are also recovering from injuries from the win against the Giants and will be monitored this week.

As it stands, Reed's return figures to take the longest, as Shanahan said the TE is dealing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that could keep him out six to eight weeks.

Reed initially injured his ankle with 1:13 left in the first quarter when he attempted to drag his feet in the back of the end zone on a throw from quarterback Nick Mullens. After he couldn't come up with the catch, Reed went down and immediately grabbed for his left ankle.

But Reed returned to the game and injured his knee when he took a low hit on a 7-yard catch with 4:31 left in the second quarter.

Shanahan said Monday that Reed's injury is frustrating given how many previous injury issues Reed has dealt with to get back to football after sitting out the 2019 season.

"I know he was disappointed but not discouraged," Shanahan said. "I think he was really liking where he was at. This is something that is going to take some time ... so I know he's disappointed in that but nothing that's gonna affect him after that. He'll hit his rehab hard, and hopefully we can weather the storm while he's gone and he'll come back to a good team."

Reed had made an impact since signing with the Niners in the offseason, especially with starting tight end George Kittle out the past two weeks because of his own sprained knee. Reed had 11 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in two-plus games with the 49ers.

Reed and Nzeocha are eligible to return after three weeks under the league's revised short-term injured reserve rules, though Reed's injury will likely keep him on there longer.

That's a list that already includes cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), running back Tevin Coleman (knee) and receivers Richie James Jr. (hamstring) and Deebo Samuel (foot).

Whether Ford joins that group or not is something the Niners will decide this week, according to Shanahan. Ford first complained of neck spasms after the opener against the Arizona Cardinals, but that developed into a back issue that has kept him on the sideline the past two games.

The 49ers have maintained hope that rest and rehab would help Ford move past the injury, but it hasn't happened, and it doesn't appear he's going to return soon.

"We should decide in the next few days whether to put him on short-term IR or not," Shanahan said. "But we haven't decided yet. We'll see how that goes in the next few days."

Like Ford, linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who is dealing with a thigh injury, is not expected to return this week, either.

Elsewhere on the injury front, the Niners are hoping for the return of Kittle, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), running back Raheem Mostert (knee) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), all of whom missed Sunday's game. Shanahan said that group is considered day-to-day this week and will be evaluated when the team practices Wednesday.

Samuel, who is eligible to come back from short-term injured reserve for the first time this week, is expected to return to practice on Wednesday. Shanahan said whether Samuel will actually play this week against the Philadelphia Eagles remains to be seen.

"I know he's been chomping at the bit to get back," Shanahan said. "I know he's really made a lot of progress here in these last 14 days. I know he's pumped to practice. I know he's pumped to play. We'll see how he is. I know he's conditioned right, I know he's healthy, I know he's feeling good, but Wednesday will be his first time in a football practice since Super Bowl week. So, we've got to take that into account also. We'll see how he goes and how he does in these three days, and then we'll evaluate that at the end of the week."