The 49ers have ended the season of safety Antoine Bethea, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, who reports that Bethea has been placed on the injured reserve list. The move clears a spot on the roster for wide receiver Jerome Simpson, who is returning from a six-game suspension.
Bethea, 31, hasn’t missed a regular season game since 2007, playing – and starting – an incredible 146 out of a possible 151 games over the course of his 10 NFL seasons. However, he’ll be sidelined for the final nine games of the Niners’ 2015 campaign due to a shoulder injury.
Bethea left Thursday night’s game against the Seahawks with the shoulder issue, and was having an MRI conducted today, so we can assume the results of that MRI weren’t great. Safety Jaquiski Tartt looks like the best bet to take over for Bethea’s job for the second half of the season, assuming the leg injury he sustained on Thursday isn’t serious.
As for Simpson, the Niners had been granted a roster exemption for the suspended wideout, allowing the team to keep him on the reserve/suspended list for an extra few days, following his six-game ban. Now that he’s on the 53-man roster, the ex-Viking will be eligible to play in San Francisco’s next game.