San Francisco 49ers CB Josh Norman released from hospital after suffering lung bruise

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman is back with the team after spending the night in the hospital with a bruised lung suffered early in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Norman's injury happened early in the second quarter when he took a helmet to the chest. He spit up blood and further examination revealed he had some fluid in his lungs, according to coach Kyle Shanahan.

Upon leaving the hospital, Norman returned to the team and took part in meetings Monday afternoon. Shanahan said Norman is considered day-to-day and there's a chance he could play this week against the Seattle Seahawks, assuming he passes the necessary tests.

"There's a possibility (he could play this week)," Shanahan said. "The way that goes, he has got to clear some imaging, he's got to pass the CT scans to get back to practice. From what I'm told, that could take anywhere from one day to throughout the week so we're just going to have to keep monitoring that each day as the week goes."

With 10:48 left in the second quarter, Norman tackled Packers running back Aaron Jones, causing a fumble that went out of bounds at San Francisco's 3, and the Niners got a fourth-down stop on the next play.

"I think the back put his helmet right in his chest and just got him in a sensitive area," Shanahan said.

Soon after, Norman was seen entering the blue medical tent on the Niners' sideline. He walked to the locker room before halftime.

Norman did not return to the game. He played 30 snaps against Green Bay and was credited with a tackle and a forced fumble. Norman was making his first start with the 49ers since signing on Sept. 6, claiming the job opposite Emmanuel Moseley.

Norman wasn't the only 49ers cornerback injured Sunday night. Nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams has a calf strain and will miss "a few weeks," according to Shanahan.

Losing Norman and Williams early forced the Niners to spend Sunday juggling their few healthy cornerbacks against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Dontae Johnson replaced Norman, with rookie Deommodore Lenoir filling in for Williams before Johnson suffered a shoulder stinger that pushed Lenoir back to the outside. Johnson was able to return to the game, but the Niners had no other healthy corners active after Moseley, Lenoir and Johnson.

Rodgers finished 23-of-33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns and the Niners were called for three defensive pass interference penalties for 81 yards, with two of those going against corners Moseley and Lenoir. With 37 seconds left, Rodgers completed two passes to receiver Davante Adams for 42 yards against the Niners' depleted secondary to set up the game-winning field goal. The injuries to Norman and Williams come after starter Jason Verrett was lost for the season in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions because of a torn right ACL.

As it stands, the only healthy corners on the roster are Moseley (who just returned from his own knee injury), Lenoir, veteran Dre Kirkpatrick (who just signed on Sept. 14) and rookie Ambry Thomas. Kirkpatrick and Thomas were pregame inactives against the Packers.

Shanahan said it's possible the team will have to add again at the position, though one in-house possibility is Davontae Harris, who is expected to return to practice on Wednesday after missing the first three weeks on injured reserve with a hamstring issue.

Any possible outside addition will be discussed in the next 24 hours.

"You've got to be comfortable with whoever we have on the roster," Shanahan said. "Whether it's running back or whether it's corner, it's next man up."

In other 49ers injury news, Shanahan said tight end George Kittle is dealing with some calf soreness and will also be day-to-day this week.