The 2023 season of Talanoa Hufanga is officially over.Tests revealed that the safety had a torn ACL in his right knee, according to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Hufanga was hurt early in the third quarter of San Francisco's 27-14 victory over Tampa Bay when he tried to close in on Buccaneers running back Rachaad White,
who cut outside to avoid Hufanga, who fell to the turf. Hufanga rose up and slowly walked off the field, but did not return to the game, with rookie Ji'Ayir Brown taking his place and intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter.
Hufanga eventually boarded a cart to the locker room for additional evaluation, and the findings of the tests verified his darkest fears.
In good news, Hufanga's torn ACL did not involve the meniscus, according to Shanahan.
Hufanga will not appear in 15 or more games for the first time in 2023. In his two-plus NFL seasons,
the former fifth-round pick has shown to be a gem of a pick, moving from a reserve player to a critical element in San Francisco's defense.
In 2022, he was named to his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro team after posting 97 tackles (five for loss), four interceptions, nine passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.