REPORT: D.J. Reed Tears Pectoral Muscle

Grant Cohn

Three 49ers down, and the team hasn’t even had a real practice yet this offseason.

First Deebo Samuel broke his foot working out. Then Richie James Jr. Broke his wrist working out. And now, cornerback D.J. Reed has torn his pectoral muscle working out -- he announced the injury on social media. Maybe the rest of the team should take it easy for a week or two.

The 49ers haven’t said how much time Reed likely will miss, but he almost certainly will sit out a few months and start the season on the Non-Football Injury List.

This injury is significant for a few reasons.

The 49ers secondary already was the thinnest, weakest position group on the team. And the 49ers didn’t draft any defensive backs this offseason. And Reed can play three positions -- corner, nickel and free safety. Plus he can return punts and kickoffs, too. He’s a key backup.

When starting nickelback K’Waun Williams missed Week 15 against the Falcons last season, Reed replaced him in the lineup and played 73 percent of the defensive snaps. So Reed is one injury to 29-year-old Williams away from becoming a major player in the 49ers defense.

But now Reed is out indefinitely. Linebacker Kwon Alexander suffered the same injury midway through last season and rushed to return for the playoffs, but didn’t play well in the postseason because he didn’t seem healthy. The 49ers shouldn’t and probably won’t rush back Reed.

So if K’waun Williams misses time, Emmanuel Moseley will have to move to nickel, meaning Ahkello Witherspoon would have to play corner. Yikes. Or, the 49ers could move Jimmie Ward to nickel and play Tarvarius Moore at free safety.

Either way, Reed’s injury could lead to major complications. The 49ers might have to reconfigure their entire secondary if one more player goes down before Reed returns, whenever that might be.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

Tell me he didn't tear his Pec moving his mouse in a virtual meeting..


This is a big loss to our depth. Reed played well as our backup nickel when Williams went down last year. I hope to god the big 3 Moseley Sherman or Williams stay healthy this season or we are in trouble. Witherspoon can’t be trusted anymore. And if we can’t trust him what’s the point in still keeping him on the roster? We will need someone like Tim Harris to step up. Like Grant said,,, I bet if Williams goes down they would move Ward to slot in the nickel package and the first DB to come off the bench would be T-Moore.


Pecs run a wide range of severity. I really like Reed and expect he will be in the mix of the re-sign derby in 2021. This merits close monitoring, since at least one of the starting 3 CBs is a vulnerability.