49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore for season with knee injury
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The 49ers placed center Daniel Kilgore on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.
Kilgore injured a knee in the first half of the 49ers’ overtime loss to the New York Jets on Sunday after starting the first 13 games of the season. The news comes a day after the team lost Vance McDonald for the remaining three games with a shoulder injury.
Taking Kilgore’s place in the starting lineup will be 2014 third-round pick Marcus Martin.
Kilgore missed 14 games over the previous two seasons after suffering a fractured ankle midway through 2014, his first year as the starter. He appeared in the final five games last season after a lengthy recovery and started during the final three weeks.
Coach Chip Kelly was forced to play reserves at three positions along the offensive line for most of the game Sunday.
Left guard Zane Beadles slid to left tackle in place of Joe Staley, who was out with a hamstring injury. Andrew Tiller played left guard and Martin went from left guard, where he started the game, to center after Kilgore went down.
The 49ers had a season-high 248 yards rushing, with 193 coming from Carlos Hyde, against New York. The Jets came into the game with the NFL’s fourth-ranked run defense.
“There were a little bit of communication issues at times just because Danny has such a command in terms of what we do,” Kelly said. “But, overall, I thought those guys for the amount of time that they had to practice there did a good job.”
Taking Kilgore’s spot on the roster is former practice squad member Alex Balducci, who was brought in as an undrafted free agent in the spring from Oregon. Balducci is learning to play center and both guard positions.
The 49ers (1-12) next travel to play the Falcons (8-5) and will try to snap their franchise-record 12-game losing streak.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL