Antoine Bethea Injury: Updates on 49ers Star's Concussion and Return

Tim KeeneyContributor IAugust 17, 2014

This is a 2014 photo of Antoine Bethea of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. This image reflects the San Francisco 49ers active roster as of Thursday, May 22, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

Updates from Sunday, Sept. 7

The 49ers confirmed that Antoine Bethea is active for Sunday's game vs. Dallas:


Updates from Saturday, Aug. 30

Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area provides an update on Antoine Bethea's status:


Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19

Jim Harbaugh updated Antoine Bethea's status after suffering a concussion (via the 49ers):


Original Text

It's every team's nightmare to see a potential starter go down with an injury during a preseason game, and the San Francisco 49ers are the latest victim. 

Safety Antoine Bethea suffered a concussion during Sunday's contest against the Denver Broncos, which effectively ended his day. The Denver Post's Mike Klis has the news:

After the Broncos 34-0 win over the 49ers, Bethea took to Twitter to provide an update for fans:

Bethea, who was signed in the offseason on a four-year, $21 million deal to replace the hard-hitting Donte Whitner, was replaced by Craig Dahl. The backup may as well have had a giant bull's-eye on his chest, as Peyton Manning immediately went after him, hooking up with Julius Thomas for an easy 17-yard score. 

The good news is Bethea has no history of concussions. Still, it's an injury that has to be taken seriously, and players react differently to its effects. As ESPN's Bill Williamson noted, the 'Niners can ill-afford to be without the 30-year-old:

NaVorro Bowman will likely miss the first half of the season while rehabbing a torn ACL and MCL. Aldon Smith is facing a potential lengthy suspension. Whitner, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are all on other teams.

Still, Bethea likes the team's new-look secondary, via's Taylor Price:

We have some smart players back there. We have Chris Culliver, who has played some great football and Tramaine Brock. Eric Reid, he made the Pro Bowl last year and P-Cox (Perrish Cox). We have a lot of great pieces in this secondary. We have the ability to do a lot of different things with a lot of great players on the defense.

Still, as Dahl showcased, depth is a potential issue.

Bethea has a solid three weeks to recover before San Francisco's regular-season opener, but this is an obvious story to watch with coach Jim Harbaugh already facing many other holes on the defensive side of the ball. 

The 49ers have little room for error—or more injuries—in the crowded NFC West.