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Source: Calf injury sends Richard Sherman to injured reserve

The Sacramento Bee — Chris Biderman The Sacramento Bee

Sept. 16-- Sep. 16--SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers were dealt another significant blow to one of their most important players on Wednesday.

Cornerback Richard Sherman is expected to be placed on injured reserve with a calf injury, a league source confirmed to The Bee. NFL Network was first to report the news Wednesday morning.

The news comes as a surprise given Sherman was not mentioned by head coach Kyle Shanahan when he listed injuries following Week 1's loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday or Monday. Sherman himself didn't mention an injury when he spoke to reporters after the game. It's unclear when the injury occurred.

New league rules for 2020 allow players to go on injured reserve and miss a minimum of three weeks and an unlimited number of players can go on IR and return throughout the season. Sherman would be first eligible to return Oct. 11 against the Miami Dolphins. Sherman will miss road games against the New York Jets, New York Giants and a home contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers will practice at The Greenbrier in West Virginia in between their games against the New York teams to save travel time.

Sherman, a second-team All-Pro and voted to his fifth Pro Bowl in 2019, would be replaced by Ahkello Witherspoon, a 2017 third-round draft pick who lost his starting job to Emmanuel Moseley last season. Sherman is the second cornerback on the active roster to sustain an injury. Reserve Jason Verrett missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury and it's unclear when he'll return making it likely Dontae Johnson is elevated from the practice squad, as he was for the season opener. Tim Harris, a 2019 sixth-round pick who didn't play last season, is also on the practice squad.

Sherman's calf injury is particularly notable given he's had surgeries on both Achilles. He ruptured his right Achilles midway through the 2017 campaign before joining San Francisco and later had corrective surgery on his left Achilles. He also had sutures removed from his right Achilles after his first season with the 49ers in 2018.

Injuries have continued to pile up for the 49ers early in their defense of last season's NFC championship. The team is already without top receiver Deebo Samuel, who was placed on injured reserve Sept. 12 and can't return until Oct. 4 against the Eagles after sustaining a set back in his recovery from a broken foot. The team Week 1 was also without first-round draft pick Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) and center Ben Garland (ankle), who are questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

Star tight end George Kittle also sustained a knee sprain in the second quarter against Arizona and enters the week questionable for Sunday.

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