The following is the list of 49ers who currently are on injured reserve and where they fit in for next season. Most players will be ready for the start of San Francisco’s offseason program in the spring, giving the team what is tantamount to a second wave of free agency for 2018.
WR Pierre Garcon. He was the 49ers’ top receiver when he suffered a freak neck injury on a hit that sent him tumbling into players and staff on the Philadelphia Eagles sideline. The small bone that broke in Garcon’s neck should be fully healed by January.
ILB Malcolm Smith. He’s been rehabilitating a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in August. He figures to be fully recovered by next season and is penciled in as the starting weak-side linebacker next to Reuben Foster at middle linebacker.
FS Jimmie Ward. He performed well in his six starts at free safety but suffered a broken arm that landed him on injured reserve for the third time in four seasons. Ward will be heading into the final year of his contract, meaning the 49ers have a big decision to make about their former first-round pick.
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SS Jaquiski Tartt. Like Ward, he suffered a midseason broken arm that, had it happened early in the season, may have him allowed to come back this year. Also like Ward, he will be heading into the final year of his contract. The 49ers appear to like Tartt as their starting strong safety for 2018.
DE Arik Armstead. Armstead suffered a broken hand in Week 6, just far enough into the season to require him going on injured reserve. The former first-round draft pick will be fully healthy for the offseason program. The 49ers must decide in the spring whether to trigger a fifth-year option that will keep him in San Francisco through the 2019 season.
G Joshua Garnett. He’ll compete with holdovers Erik Magnuson, Laken Tomlinson and whomever the 49ers add in the offseason for a starting guard spot.
RB Joe Williams*. His season ended when he went on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He will be part of the running back competition when the offseason begins.
OL Erik Magnuson*. He proved his worth in 2017 by starting two games at right tackle, one of them while dealing with the foot sprain that landed him on injured reserve. The 49ers envision him as part of the competition at guard and center next year.
TE Cole Hikutini*. The Elk Grove product’s knee (MCL) injury should not be an issue for next season. He will compete to be the team’s “move” tight end in 2018.
RB Raheem Mostert. His MCL injury should be healed by the offseason. He has proven himself as a valuable special teams player.
WR Aaron Burbridge. A preseason hamstring injury landed him on injured reserve. He has a chance at a 2018 roster spot because of his value on special teams.
SS Chanceller James*. He suffered an ACL tear in training camp, which means he may not be ready for the beginning of the offseason program. Still, he looked promising before his injury and could ultimately be in the mix at strong safety.
ILB Donavin Newsom*. He has been slow to recover from the devastating concussion he suffered in August but has been making progress lately. He wants to continue playing in the NFL, but no determination will be made until he’s fully cleared to return to the field.
OLB Jimmie Gilbert*. He also suffered an ACL tear in training camp. The 49ers had Gilbert line up at outside linebacker, a position at which they will try to boost competition next year.
Others: T Garry Gilliam, DT Chris Jones, S Don Jones, CB Prince Charles Iworah, CB Asa Jackson.
Matt Barrows breaks down how three San Francisco 49ers offensive players might fare with Jimmy Garoppolo starting at quarterback over C.J. Beathard. Beathard was forced out of last Sunday's game against Seattle. The game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field will be Garoppolo's third NFL start.