Happy New Year From Niners Nation

We're a few hours away from ringing in the New Year on the east coast, with the west coast following a few hours later. Hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year celebration. New Years Eve is often referred to as amateur night since a lot of non-drinkers get out to have a good time. So, just keep an eye out.

It will already be a better New Year than last year with the 49ers guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Hopefully they can wrap up the number two seed as well, but playoffs are playoffs. After eight seasons of struggles, the 49ers are back in the playoffs with a chance to make some serious noise.

The NFC presents a challenging run for the 49ers. If they get the two seed they'll likely have to beat the Saints at home and the Packers on the road to get in a position for the franchise's sixth Super Bowl. While it would be nice to make a strong postseason run, this season has already surpassed most of our expectations and set the team up for a big offseason in 2012.

If you are around a computer heading up to midnight wherever you are at, consider this an open thread. If you are looking for some 49ers chatter, Matt Maiocco is reporting sources indicate Kyle Williams is not expected to be available to play tomorrow. Williams suffered a concussion last week and has not yet received medical clearance to return to action. Things could change between now and 10:00am PT tomorrow, but again, I'm not holding my breath. The team will likely look to get him ready for the first playoff game instead.

If you are looking for something a little more in-depth, Mike Sando posted a 49ers personnel report for Week 16. He looked specifically at how things shook out before and after Delanie Walker left the game with a broken jaw. The 49ers will likely use less two tight end sets as their base formation. While Peelle will get mixed in on occasion in two tight end, one back sets, no Delanie Walker likely means the team moves away from that a bit this week.

The team is going to re-evaluate Walker's status early next week. I'm not sure what will be sufficient to keep him off injured reserve, but I guess we'll find out next week. If they have to place Walker on IR, practice squad tight end Konrad Reuland would seem to be the next man up, but we'll know more in the coming days.

Happy New Year to everybody and see you tomorrow for 49ers-Rams!

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