The San Francisco 49ers got a day off on Sunday, which allowed some of their banged up players to get back in the swing of things for this weekend's NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants. While the 49ers were relatively healthy heading into this past Saturday's game against the Saints, they walked with a few injuries and aggravations that will be an issue this week.
The most pertinent injury saw wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. leave Saturday's game with a knee injury. He returned briefly but then left again and is now questionable for Sunday's game. When Ginn went down Kyle Williams took over as the primary return man and number two receiver, while Brett Swain took over as the number three receiver. If Ginn was unavailable for Sunday's game, Joe Hastings would suit up and be active. I think that last sentence just about sums up this whole situation pretty easily.
The big news this week will be what comes of the assessment of tight end Delanie Walker's broken jaw. It's been three weeks now and Walker has apparently been ahead of pace. Yesterday, Delanie sent out this tweet:
Just got a lil workout in I'm so ready to pad up on Sunday— Delanie walker (@Dwalk46) January 16, 2012
He still has to be cleared to play, but this would seem to be a solid sign moving forward. If the 49ers can get Walker back, that adds a key piece to this offense. While he did not generally put up monster numbers, he has been a key part of the lineup with his ability to move around between tight end, wide receiver, fullback and h-back. The 49ers ability to roll him out in such a way creates numerous mismatches and misdirection. Justin Peelle did his job on Saturday, but getting Walker back would be huge.
A separate nagging injury that will be important to follow this week is Ray McDonald's hamstring injury. He finished Saturday's game, but he also struggled enough that he did not play every down as is often the case. Ricky Jean Francois got a lot of snaps and I would imagine he will see a solid amount of playing time this Sunday against the Giants. McDonald's hamstring seemed to be bothering him on Saturday, and I would be surprised if it completely cleared up by this weekend.