Is there any team that could use a bye week more than the Niners right now? Is there any team that could potential look like a different team after the bye week than the Niners? I would venture to say no. The team's injury list is long, but could be much shorter after the week off. Patrick Willis, Mike Iupati, Chris Culliver, and Jimmie Ward could all be back after the bye. Other players such as Vernon Davis and Tramaine Brock can have an extra week to get healthy, even though they played Sunday night. The team can also figure out what to do with the likes of NaVorro Bowman, Glenn Dorsey, and Marcus Lattimore, who are all recovering from injury.
But maybe the biggest news for Niner fans is the reported suspension cut of Aldon Smith. He was scheduled to return for the Week 11 game against the Giants, but his suspension could be reduced as much as making him eligible after the bye. That could be a huge boost to the defense. Adding their star pass rusher to a defense that was playing well until Sunday night could spell trouble to opposing offenses. With the emergence of Aaron Lynch, a duo of Lynch and Smith would be a nightmare for offensive lines.
After the bye, the Niners play the Rams at home, then fly to New Orleans and New York. After that, they head home for a run of 2 (technically 3) home games against the Redskins, Seahawks, and the Raiders. They finish the season off with games in Seattle and home games against the Chargers and Cardinals. With quite a few starters coming back from injury this bye week, this could be a completely different team for the 2nd half of the season.
Please make this a reality | Aldon Could Be Back Soon (Price)
So many potential game changers | Brand New Team (BASG)
Good things happen when he plays | Miller Integral Part Of Team (Williams)
Film Don't Lie (Gutierrez)
Smith's Suspension Could Be Cut (Patra)
I really want to see what he can offer the team | Could Lattimore's Long Road Be Over Soon? (Maiocco)
Boone: Regroup, Refocus (49ers Radio)
Johnson Resigned....Again (Maiocco)
He was up against it when facing Peyton Manning | Borland A Liability On Sunday Night (Gin)
Week 8 Power Rankings (ESPN)
Much needed time off | The Bye Is A Blessing (Branch)
Trent Baalke Speaks (49ers Radio)
Rank #12 (Gutierrez)
Bye Week Checklist (Biderman)
NFC West Report (Pentis)
Not much. They were simply outgunned without so many key players | What The Denver Beatdown Means (Lynch)
This really shouldn't take so long | Eddie's Next Shot At Canton (Purdy)