An­other de­fen­sive end lost for the season

Moore played through game with arm frac­ture

Times Standard (Eureka) - - SPORTS - By Cam In­man

SANTA CLARA >> Los­ing an­other pass rusher for the season is not the 49ers’ ideal mo­men­tum head­ing into Sun­day’s matchup at Bal­ti­more against Ravens play-mak­ing quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son.

Da­mon­tre Moore sus­tained a frac­tured fibula in Sun­day night’s 37-8 win over the Green Bay Pack­ers, an in­jury he played through and one caught coach Kyle Shana­han by sur­prise af­ter­ward.

Moore, the 49ers’ last ros­ter cut be­fore the season, at least made the most of his two-game op­por­tu­nity since be­ing signed to re­place Ron­ald Blair, who had a season-end­ing knee in­jury Nov. 11.

“It was just re­ally cool how he played th­ese two weeks,” Shana­han said. “It was ex­actly like the pre­sea­son: He put ev­ery­thing on the line, do­ing ev­ery­thing he could to earn a job.

Moore forced a last-minute fum­ble in his 49ers de­but to help clinch a Nov. 17 win over Ari­zona.

So, come Sun­day in Bal­ti­more, there’ll be no Blair, no Moore and pos­si­bly no Dee Ford, who missed Sun­day night’s game with a ham­string strain that might be too dan­ger­ous to test chas­ing af­ter Jack­son.

Jeremiah Valoaga, a 6-foot-6 de­fen­sive end, will be pro­moted from the prac­tice squad, Shana­han said. Valoaga had a team-high 4 ½ sacks in the ex­hi­bi­tion season and has since been on the prac­tice squad.

Moore played 42 per­cent of Sun­day night’s de­fen­sive snaps (34), had three tack­les and de­liv­ered one hit on Aaron Rodgers while fill­ing in for Ford, who missed his first game of the season. Shana­han be­lieves Moore got hurt tack­ling Rodgers on a third-quar­ter scram­ble short of the goal line.

“I can’t tell you how im­pressed we were that we didn’t know he had a bro­ken fore­arm un­til af­ter my (postgame) press con­fer­ence, be­cause the guy never told any­body and he didn’t know it was bro­ken,” Shana­han said.

There was pain but he kept play­ing, and af­ter the game, he no­ticed it was hurt­ing, got it checked out and found out it was bro­ken,” Shana­han added. “To watch him on tape play­ing with that shows you he’s a spe­cial dude.”

The 49ers’ de­fen­sive front has been ex­tremely spe­cial this season, led by starters Arik Arm­stead (10 sacks), Nick Bosa (eight), DeFor­est Buck­ner (5 ½) and Ford (6 ½). The 49ers have gone eight con­sec­u­tive games with at least three sacks, the first time that’s hap­pened in fran­chise history since sacks be­come of­fi­cially charted in 1982.

KIT­TLE’S DAY AF­TER >> Tight end Ge­orge Kit­tle re­ported back OK af­ter play­ing his first game since his Oct. 31 knee and an­kle injuries. “Ge­orge came out good,” Shana­han said. “I know af­ter you’re al­ways in a lit­tle pain when you play with that stuff. But, talk­ing with him to­day, he didn’t have any set­backs and he should be good to go this week. We’ll have to be smart with him in how we prac­tice, just like last week.”

LEFT TACKLE IS­SUE >> Joe Sta­ley is 50-50 on re­turn­ing from a two-game ab­sence from surgery to re­pair a frac­tured fin­ger. If he’s not ready, Daniel Brun­skill could be mak­ing his de­but as a start­ing left tackle. Brun­skill, who started in place of right tackle Mike McGlinchey for four games last month, was sum­moned to re­place a strug­gling Justin Skule on Sun­day night. Shana­han said any fi­nal de­ci­sion will be based on the com­ing week’s prac­tices.

OTHER UP­DATES >> Ford, run­ning back Matt Breida (an­kle) and kicker Rob­bie Gould (quadri­ceps) all are con­sid­ered ques­tion­able en­ter­ing this week’s game. Also be­ing mon­i­tored are de­fen­sive tackle Jul­lian Tay­lor (jaw) and guard Mike Per­son (stinger).

Gould’s re­place­ment, Chase McLaugh­lin, made all his kicks (three field goals, two ex­tra points) on Sun­day night. “I know Rob­bie wants to (play) but we’ll be smart with that and make sure he’s 100 per­cent,” Shana­han said. “He’s get­ting very close. We’ll see how he is on Wed­nes­day.”

GAROP­POLO GRADE >> A day af­ter calling Jimmy Garop­polo’s per­for­mance “pretty flaw­less,” Shana­han sim­mered his praise, just a bit. “No one’s ever done flaw­less but, I don’t know, I was short on words. He played very well,” Shana­han said. “It was one of his bet­ter games here.”

Garop­polo posted a ca­reer-best passer rat­ing of 145.8 while com­plet­ing 14of-20 passes (70 per­cent) for 253 yards with two touch­downs, no in­ter­cep­tions and no turnovers. He did fum­ble a snap that the 49ers re­cov­ered.

“He was very ef­fi­cient in ev­ery­thing he did and when he had op­por­tu­ni­ties for big plays he didn’t miss any of them,” Shana­han added. “And he took as good of care of the ball as he has.”

HOL­I­DAY SCHED­ULE >> Shana­han may move Thurs­day’s prac­tice up so play­ers can get home by 3 p.m. for Thanks­giv­ing din­ners, to which he is­sued them a warn­ing. “Some­times they come in (Fri­day) a lit­tle more tired, a lit­tle heav­ier, so you re­ally try to stress and hope that some of th­ese guys who en­joy eat­ing don’t get too ex­cited and fell they have to eat ev­ery­thing that day,” Shana­han said.

PRIME-TIME DRAW >> The 49ers, in their fourth prime­time kick­off this season, were a rat­ings mag­net, with per­haps a lit­tle help from the Pack­ers. An au­di­ence of 21.3 mil­lion view­ers was the largest for a Week 12 game on NBC’s “Sun­day Night Foot­ball” since 2015. The top-three me­tered mar­kets: Mil­wau­kee (38.6 rat­ing, 57-per­cent mar­ket share), San Fran­cisco (27.4; 52 per­cent) and Sacra­mento (24.5; 43 per­cent).

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