Ex-Consensus All-American USC Football Safety Talanoa Hufanga is going through concussion protocol right now. He actually passed concussion protocol two times on Sunday, but did not pass it on Monday. It's why he played on Sunday with no issue, but was placed in the protocol on Monday. Hufanga had six tackles in the game against the Falcons on Sunday, despite his team losing.
The San Francisco 49ers will need him this week, as they have a tough matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs' offense is leading the NFL with 29.8 points per game, so the defense will need to be as healthy as possible.
The issue is that the 9ers are one of the more injured teams in the entire league as a whole, so health is a potential major issue for them regardless of if Hufanga is good to go or not. If Hufanga does play, though, look for him to make plays. Hufanga has already picked up 36 tackles on the year, to go along with five tackles for loss, and two interceptions (one returned for touchdown).
This comes just two years after he was a Consensus All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for USC in his Junior season. He somehow had 62 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 interceptions(!), and two forced fumbles despite USC's season only being six games long due to the coronavirus pandemic that year.
Ex-USC Football Safety Talanoa Hufanga has wildly out-performed expectations in the NFL.
Talanoa Hufanga was drafted in just the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the USC Football program, which has proven to be one of the biggest draft steals in the NFL these past couple of years.
This is the same guy who even scored a touchdown on special teams last year in the playoffs to get the 49ers back into the game. They ended up riding that momentum and winning in snowy Lambeau Field to go to the NFC Championship Game as a second wild card team. His impact on the 49ers is everything, and him being good to go will be important for them.
Luckily, he at least was seen working on the practice field on Thursday, proving that he seems to be responding in a way that keeps him in the running for a start on Sunday.