The San Francisco 49ers face off against the New Orleans Saints later this afternoon, and the injury report raises plenty of questions. The 49ers have been getting healthier in certain respects, but as we know all too well, they've been dealing with a new set of injuries. We'll have the inactive report 90 minutes before the 1:25 p.m. PT kickoff, but in the meantime, I thought we'd take a look at some of the notable names on the injury report.
OK, so the first name does not actually appear on the 49ers injury report. The wide receiver remains on the PUP list. If he was going to play against the Saints, he would have been activated by Saturday afternoon. There was no transaction, so he remains on the PUP list. My prediction remains that his first game is at home against the St. Louis Rams, but I'm sure we'll hear plenty of speculation over the next week leading up to Monday Night Football at Washington.
The 49ers defensive tackle has been ruled out for Sunday's game. Jim Harbaugh has indicated that Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs will get more playing time with McDonald's absence. In his Friday press conference, Harbaugh made no mention of Tank Carradine. The day before, Vic Fangio was asked if Tank was ready for NFL action. His response: "I don't know the answer to that." My guess is he means that he just hasn't seen him in an NFL game yet, so he can't answer that, but who really knows.
For Sunday's game, I think we see Dial active, but I'm not quite as sure about Tank. If he was ever going to be active, this would seem to be the game.
The 49ers third tight end was ruled doubtful for the game. The 49ers promoted Derek Carrier from the practice squad, so look for him to get the active spot over Celek. While Celek is more of a blocking tight end, Carrier is more of a pass catcher, having come out of college as a wide receiver. The 49ers like to use extra tight ends, so we'll see if Carrier gets a chance to help them open up the passing game. I'm not holding my breath for much, but maybe we'll be surprised.
Vernon Davis & Eric Reid
The 49ers starting tight end and free safety were both listed as questionable after each suffered a concussion last week against Carolina. Both were listed as limited in practice each day, engaging in non-contact work. According to Matt Maiocco, on Friday, they squared off in a contact drill as a final part of the concussion protocol. They need to remain symptom free through this morning if they are going to be cleared to play. Thus far they have been fine, but we won't know for certain until inactives are released 90 minutes before the game.
The 49ers wide receiver returned to action last week, a little under 11 months after his ACL tear. He was targeted a team-high six times, and finished with three reception for 30 yards. This week, he was limited in practice each day due to his knee, and is currently "questionable" for the game. All indications are that he is fine for the game, but given that surgery was less than a year ago, the team likely wants to take it easy with him on a week-to-week basis.
Assuming Manningham can play, the 49ers will likely only have four active receivers on the roster. This group includes Mario Manningham, Anquan Boldin, Jon Baldwin and Kassim Osgood. Although Osgood was inactive last week, the team's decision to release Kyle Williams likely means Osgood will be back up this week. The 49ers are able to split out Davis, and it is possible they could mix in Carrier as well given his receiver background.