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Humbled 49ers defense now could miss Kwon Alexander


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Richard Sherman, as usual, was blunt. The 49ers defense, he said, got humbled, and perhaps needed that. What it didn’t need, however, was to lose a key starter to injury.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander’s pectoral injury is a paramount concern after Thursday’s 28-25 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

“He needs to get back healthy and he’s going to be missed,” defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said.

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Alexander had his shoulder pads off and a sweatshirt on in the closing minutes as the 49ers defense buckled against the Cardinals comeback, a rally that got stopped only because the 49ers’ offense ate the final 4 minutes, 53 seconds.

Arizona Cardinals Kenyan Drake (41) scores a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Cardinals pulled within a field goal on Andy Isabella’s 88-yard touchdown catch-and-run, followed by Kyler Murray’s two-point conversion pass to Kenyan Drake. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley got beat as he tried to intercept the ball Isabella nabbed, then Sherman missed a sideline tackle and no one could catch up to the Cardinals wide receiver.

“It’s humbling. It’s humbling for the defense,” Sherman said. “We need to be humbled. That was a humbling game. You need to be humbled on all levels, and there’s accountability on all levels. We’ll watch the tape and we’ll watch it critically.

“That’s not championship football.”

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 31: Wide receiver KeeSean Johnson #19 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a reception over the defense of the Arizona Cardinals the game at State Farm Stadium on October 31, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The 49ers have allowed a 100-yard rusher in back-to-back games, with Kenyan Drake doing that Thursday night (15 carries, 110 yards) as he also scored an opening-drive touchdown in his Cardinals debut.

“Collectively it was our worst defensive game,” Buckner said. “They caught us in bad positions. It’s a humbling experience and we have to get back to the grind.”

The top-ranked pass defense sacked rookie Kyler Murray three times, but he escaped other sacks, as anticipated. He came alive late, and he finished with 241 passing yards (17-of-24, two touchdowns, no interceptions) and 34 rushing yards (five carries). Buckner called Murray “a little squirrel back there, running everywhere.”

The big squirrel comes next, in the form of quarterback Russell Wilson, who’ll visit Levi’s Stadium with the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, Nov. 11.Related Articles

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Source:: The Mercury News


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