Borland might miss final two games

Chris Borland may miss the rest of the season after injuring an ankle in Sunday's loss in Seattle.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Despite starting in just eight of the San Francisco 49ers 14 games, rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland is sixth in the NFL with 84 tackles.

But he might not be making any more in 2014, according to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, after Borland suffered an ankle injury on the final play of the first half of Sunday's loss Sunday in Seattle.

“It’d be a stretch right now,” Fangio said Tuesday.

Borland injured the ankle when trying to throw a block during safety Eric Reid's 73-yard interception at as time expired in the second quarter. He tried to get back into the game in the third by re-entering, but took himself out after the ankle didn't respond as he hoped.

Borland was inserted into the starting lineup after Patrick Willis sustained a toe injury in Oct. 13's win over the St. Louis Rams. Willis initially tried to return from the injury, but suffered a set back and elected to have season-ending surgery last month.

That made Borland the full-time starter at Willis' "Mike" inside linebacker position. He went on to win NFL rookie of the month in November for making a league-leading 70 tackles. The Wisconsin alum also had two interceptions of Eli Manning against the New York Giants and made a crucial fumble recovery in overtime to help beat the New Orleans Saints.

But, despite showing promise in a number of areas, Borland still has room to improve.

"He still makes some mistakes," Fangio said. "Still doesn’t react well to certain plays and certain coverages the way he should consistently enough, but I think that will come.

"I think we got a player that nobody was so sure that if he could play at his collegiate level in the pros and with his work this year, he’s proven that he can, to some degree.”

With Borland out, second-year player Nick Moody was inserted to the game, moving Michael Wilhoite from the "Jack" linebacker position over to "Mike." To add depth to the position, the 49ers added former Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop Tuesday.

Next story:

Ward suffered second Jones fracture

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