The San Francisco 49ers earned a bye week yesterday with their win over the St. Louis Rams and the timing of it could not be more perfect. The 49ers grabbed the victory, but they suffered numerous bumps and bruises that will require a bit of rest and rehabilitation. Thankfully, the 49ers do not play again for 12 days and will be able to get most of their players back near 100% when the Saints, Giants or Falcons come calling on January 14.
The most notable injury yesterday was Bruce Miller aggravating his left knee injury. He was limited in practice with the injury but was a go on Sunday. He left in the first quarter, but was able to jog back to the locker room at halftime and returned to the field late in the game. The rookie has developed into a critical part of the run blocking and pass protection scheme, so let's hope he can get back close to 100% as soon as possible.
Justin Smith aggravated a knee injury of his own and was set to sit out the second half. When things got a bit tight late in the game, Smith reportedly went back on the field without telling Coach Harbaugh. I'd imagine Jim Tomsula wasn't going to fight him on returning, and he might have shown just how important he is when he was sitting. Smith was not on the injury report this week, but had briefly left last week's win over the Seahawks with a lower leg injury.
Patrick Willis (hamstring) did play and did not seem to aggravate his hamstring injury. However, he did not seem to have the normal pep in his step that we are used to seeing. He didn't seem hurt, but it seemed like there was a little bit of rust on the 49ers all world linebacker. Ideally he will be back as a full participant in practice leading up to the 49ers divisional playoff matchup.
Ted Ginn Jr. (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion) were both inactive on Sunday. Ginn tested his ankle before the game but was not in a position to be active. Williams has not been medically cleared to return from his concussion, but hopefully that will happen sometime this week. He was a non-participant in all three days of practice this week.
Delanie Walker remains the primary question mark. He has been on a liquid diet and will be reassessed at some point this coming week. The team will decide if they can get him back in time to contribute this postseason. Depending on how long his recovery will be, they may in turn decide to place him on injured reserve and bring up Konrad Reuland (or a free agent tight end). We should know more before the end of this week.