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Chris Borland placed on San Francisco 49ers' I.R.

Chris Borlandmade an instant impact when given the opportunity this season, earning buzz as a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. His rookie campaign is now over.

The San Francisco 49ers placed November's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month on season-ending injured reserve Saturday.

Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Tuesday "it would be a stretch right now" for Borland to play in San Francisco's final two games this season. Borland exited last week's loss to the Seahawks after suffering an ankle injury.

A third-round pick, Borland replaced an injured Patrick Willis in Week 7 and quickly earned a reputation as a tackling machine. In one three-week stretch, Borland racked up 58 tackles. He will finish 2014 with a team-leading 128 tackles, one sack and two interceptions, with nearly all that production coming as the league's leading tackler after Week 6.

The former Wisconsin star became the first player in 20 years to register 70 tackles and two interceptions in a single calendar month.

Borland has earned himself a significant role in San Francisco going forward, though the linebacker field will be crowded with Willis and NaVorro Bowman returning from injury next year. Teams have had worse problems.

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