The San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers released their injury reports Friday afternoon. I've posted the info below, but the most notable names, Steve Smith and Carlos Rogers, were discussed earlier today. Other than that, there is nothing entirely notable about the names. However, that is what makes the recent injury reports fairly notable.
The 49ers are in relatively good shape as they head into what could prove to be an incredibly physical matchup. Their Week 10 game was arguably the most physical game in the entire NFL this season. You have two teams with dominant defensive fronts, and powerful rushing attacks. I chatted with Chris Biderman from NinersDigest.com about this on a podcast earlier today. I dropped embed code down at the bottom, so give it a listen. The podcast is a little over 30 minutes.
Chris put together some thoughts on how the 49ers defensive line is particularly healthy at this point (subscription article). The 49ers have been able to get Justin Smith and Ray McDonald some serious rest this season. Chris pointed out some interesting snap count info earlier today. In 2012, Ray McDonald played 90 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 12 games. In 2013, McDonald has done that in one game. In 2012, Justin Smith played 90 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 13 games. In 2012, he has yet to reach that mark.
This team is healthy on the line thanks to their depth, but they are also in a strong position on the offensive side of the ball. In the Week 10 matchup, the 49ers lost Garrett Celek to a hamstring injury in the first quarter, then lost Vernon Davis to a concussion in the second quarter. This left them without two of their three tight ends. The team runs a lot of two-TE looks, and after Vance McDonald, the team had to use Adam Snyder as the No. 2 tight end. That removed that second receiving threat, and basically neutered their two-TE looks.
The 49ers do have Michael Crabtree back, and that will make a significant impact. But losing two tight ends was also a significant blow in that game. The 49ers will be dealing with another physical game, but if they can stay moderately healthy, it is kind of a big deal.
49ers injury report
Questionable: CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring), LB Dan Skuta (foot)
Probable: LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), WR Michael Crabtree (wrist), DT Demarcus Dobbs (knee, shoulder), C Jonathan Goodwin (not injury related), RB Frank Gore (knee), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Panthers injury report
Questionable: DT Colin Cole (calf), WR Steve Smith (knee), RB Jonathan Stewart (knee)
Probable: TE Ben Hartsock (knee), S Quinton Mikell (thumb)