The 49ers didn’t play several of their projected defensive regulars in Sunday’s game against the Broncos and they saw one of the ones that did start leave early with a concussion.
Safety Antoine Bethea went down after being blocked by Broncos rookie wide receiver Cody Latimer on a play in the second quarter and going down to the turf hard. He was able to walk off the field under his own power and the 49ers later announced he was done for the day. He’ll be evaluated under the league’s concussion protocol and won’t return to full practices or games until he passes the necessary tests.
Craig Dahl replaced Bethea and had remained on the field with the team’s second unit as halftime approaches.
Linebacker Patrick Willis, cornerback Tramaine Brock and defensive linemen Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Ian Williams were all held out of the game for the 49ers, who gave up scores to the Broncos on both of the two drives featuring the rest of their first stringers.