SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers aren't only banged up on offense. The secondary is dealing with injuries to three of its top four cornerbacks.
San Francisco will be without both starting cornerbacks Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock against the Falcons' fifth-ranked passing offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan. It could be tough sledding against Julio Jones, who entered the week leading the NFL in catches (73) and yards (892).
Brock is dealing with a shin injury, making reserve Dontae Johnson the team's only healthy cornerback who started the season on the 53-man roster. Johnson and Marcus Cromartie will start, the team announced. Cromartie was added from the practice squad Saturday.
Acker suffered a chest injuries in last week's loss in St. Louis, and was placed in the concussion protocol this week after his collision with Eric Reid in the second half. His concussion was not reported during or after the game, and he did not practice this week. The team will also be without Keith Reaser, who is dealing with an ankle injury.
Reaser was a limited participant late in the week while his right ankle was heavily wrapped.
Over the weekend, the 49ers added cornerbacks Cromartie and Chris Davis from the practice squad to the active roster. They will both play Sunday against Atlanta.
To make room, San Francisco placed running back Mike Davis on injured reserve with the return designation following surgery this week on his fractured hand. Safety and special teams standout L.J. McCray was placed on season-ending injured reserve after having surgery on his knee, stemming from an injury suffered against the Rams.
Cromartie played in three games at the end of last season for San Francisco. Chris Davis was added to the practice squad Nov. 3 after signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2014, when he appeared in 12 games, including one start.
On offense, the new starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert will be missing two of his best skill position players in Anquan Boldin and Carlos Hyde. With the bye next week, San Francisco is hoping the extra game off could increase their chances of being healthy when they return to action in Seattle Nov. 22.
Kendall Gaskins, Shaun Draughn and Pierre Thomas will be the 49ers' available running backs, while the receivers will be Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White. For the first time this season, nose tackle Mike Purcell will be in uniform.