The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the San Francisco 49ers at Heinz Field in Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season and while we’ve known that for quite a while now, what we didn’t know is that the 49ers would be without several key players on both sides of the football for that game.
After losing starters Chris Borland, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith to retirements so far this offseason, the 49ers have now lost starting right tackle Anthony Davis as well, as the 11th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft surprisingly announced Friday afternoon in a statement that he is also retiring from football.
Davis, who missed nine games in 2014 with an MCL sprain and a concussion, had started every game for the 49ers during his first four years in the league. He signed a five-year extension with the club in 2013 and is only 25 years of age. While Davis has no plans on playing in 2015, it sounds like he intends on resuming his career at a later date, per his Friday statement.
“After a few years of thought, I’ve decided it will be best for me to take a year or so away from the NFL. This will be a time for me to allow my Brain and Body a chance to heal. I know many won’t understand my decision, that’s ok,” Davis said. “I hope you too have the courage to live your life how you planned it when day dreaming to yourself growing up. Your Life is Your dream and you have the power to control that dream. I’m simply doing what’s best for my body as well as my mental health at this time in my life.”
Now that it looks like Davis won’t be around for the 2015 season, the 49ers might have to kick right guard Alex Boone outside to the right tackle spot. Boone, however, isn’t participating in the 49ers voluntary organized team activities so far this offseason, so his situation probably warrants monitoring moving forward and especially now that Davis is retiring.
It’s been a crazy offseason for the 49ers, who now have several new coaches on their staff thanks to their former head coach Jim Harbaugh leaving this offseason to become the head coach at Michigan. While the team did add a few high-profile free agents this offseason in wide receiver Torrey Smith, running back Reggie Bush, guard Erik Pears and linebacker Philip Wheeler, they also lost a few key ones in guard Mike Iupati, cornerback Perrish Cox, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Frank Gore.
As it stands right now, the Steelers will be without the services of starting running back Le’Veon Bell for their game against the 49ers as that will be the second of the three he’s suspended for. While several more things can and will change for both teams prior to their Week 2 meeting, you really have to like the Steelers chances in that contest as we sit here in June even though they’ll be without Bell.