An emotional Chris Culliver was carted off the field with a knee injury on Thursday and the 49ers' worst fears have been realized. Culliver has torn his left ACL and will be out for the entire 2013 NFL season, according to Adam Schefter. ESPN's Mike Sando, who was watching the 49ers practice, said the third-year cornerback suffered the injury in a non-contact setting.
Was standing 15 yds away. Looked like classic non-contact freak injury. RT @AdamSchefter: 49ers CB Chris Culliver did tear ACL.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@espn_nfcwest) August 2, 2013
It's been a bad week for the 49ers defense, as linebackers Patrick Willis (hand) and NaVorro Bowman (hip) have been sidelined with injuries, but nothing to the extent of Culliver's. Meanwhile the offensive side of the ball has suffered a spate of injuries in the wide receiver corps, with multiple players joining Michael Crabtree as he rehabilitates from offseason Achilles surgery.
Culliver started six games for San Francisco in 2012, totaling 47 tackles and 14 passes defended. He was battling Nnamdi Asomugha as the 49ers' third cornerback entering the season, a job that will now be wide open as the Super Bowl runners-up look to solidify their secondary in the wake of his injury.