The San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers will release their injury reports later today, but the two most important injury story lines are all but determined. Carlos Rogers is unlikely to play, and Steve Smith seems almost a lock to play on Sunday.
According to the beat writers at practice, Rogers did not take part in the Friday morning walkthrough. He was then seen rehabbing on a side field when the final practice of the week began. In his post-practice press conference, Coach Harbaugh said Rogers would be questionable, and did not seem overly enthusiastic about his chances of playing. On Thursday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Rogers couldn't play if he didn't practice this week.
If Rogers doesn't play, Tramaine Brock and Tarell Brown would be the starting corners. It seems likely that Perrish Cox would get the start at nickel, but the 49ers could flip things and go back to Eric Wright. There is no specific reason to think it will be Wright, but you never know.
As for Smith, he has spent the week providing percentages about the state of his knee. It turns out, the numbers he has been providing are randomly selected. Today, he said he was 89 percent confident. If you weren't aware, that's his jersey number. It's safe to say Smith has been playing some games all week. I don't imagine he will be 100 percent for Sunday's game, but I don't see any way he misses the game.
It sounds like Smith did miss most of Friday's practice because of the rain. This Sunday, it is expected to be in the high 50s and sunny in Charlotte. The ground should be in good shape, so Smith would get a little more confidence heading into the game.
Speaking of Smith, here's your winner of most random hyperbole:
Ted Ginn, Jr. On Steve Smith's importance to Panthers: "He's our LeBron."— Jim Corbett (@ByJimCorbett) January 10, 2014