49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 23, 2008
Spencer diagnosis: torn ACL

It's official: Shawntae Spencer tore an ACL in Seattle. He will have surgery tomorrow and will be placed on injured reserve at a later date. The team made the announcement today although it's been known for a week -- or at least strongly suspected -- that he had torn an ACL. The 49ers have been a bit squirrely as far as injury news this year. Heck, we haven't even gotten an official diagnosis from the team yet about Alex Smith.

Spencer is a good cover cornerback and has been either the team's No. 2 or No. 3 cornerback since midway through his rookie season in 2004. In recent years, however, he has been hobbled by injuries, and with his slight frame -- 6-1, 190 pounds -- durability is his main issue. No team can be considered lucky when its No. 3 cornerback goes down. But if the 49ers can afford injuries to any area of their roster, it's cornerback. With Spencer out Sunday, Tarell Brown filled in marvelously against the Lions. Rookie Reggie Smith also suited up and played special teams against Detroit. Meanwhile, both Donald Strickland and Marcus Hudson can play both cornerback and safety, and Dashon Goldson probably could play cornerback in a pinch ...

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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