The San Francisco 49ers head into their bye week with a timely opportunity to get healthy for the second half of their schedule. They will deal with their share of injuries over the last nine games of their regular season schedule, but at least we know they'll be getting healthier in some respects.
Every team is dealing with injuries, and will deal with plenty of new injuries between now and Week 17. A couple of the 49ers opponents have dealt with some notable injuries, so I thought I would take a quick look at some of the notable injuries among 49ers opponents. Not every team is dealing with anything overly significant, so I will be skipping some teams.
Week 9 vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are dealing with injury issues in the secondary. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins injured his right knee against the Seahawks, and has subsequently sat out practice all this week. He is questionable for Sunday, and not expected to play. There is no word on any long-term implications of the injury, but it will be something to track on the injury report next week. They will also be without cornerback Brandon McGee, who aggravated a foot injury. There is no word on how long he might be out.
Week 10 @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints head into this weekend's game against the Green Bay Packers likely without running back Pierre Thomas and center Jonathan Goodwin. Thomas injured his ribs and shoulder, and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Travaris Cadet is expected to get more work in the passing game in place of Thomas. Old friend Jonathan Goodwin suffered a lower leg injury and is missing practice this week. I suspect he will be back in time for Week 10.
The big question for the Saints heading into this weekend is what will they do with Jimmy Graham. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 that some thought would cost him several weeks. Instead, after the team's Week 6 bye, he was back in action in Week 7. Of course, "back in action" should be taken loosely, as he was basically a decoy last week. He should be in good shape come Week 10, but it will still be something worth tracking in the coming weeks.
Week 11 @ New York Giants
The big news for the Giants was the loss of Victor Cruz to a torn patellar tendon in their Week 6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants bounced back to hang tough with the Cowboys in Week 7, but their passing game has some work in front of it. Rueben Randle is expected to get a significant opportunity in light of Cruz's injury.
Running back Rashad Jennings continues his rehab from an MCL sprain. He suffered the injury in Week 4, and is hoping to return next week, after the Giants Week 8 bye. Andre Williams has been starting in his place. Jennings will regain the starting job when he returns, but we'll see how that knee is.
Week 12 vs. Washington
Washington outside linebacker Brian Orakpo suffered a torn right pectoral muscle last week, and has been placed on injured reserve following surgery. He was not exactly having a huge year, but it is worth noting that he will not be playing in Week 12.
The bigger story is probably the fact that Robert Griffin III is likely to be back at quarterback by Week 12. RG3 suffered a dislocated ankle in Week 2, and has sat out since. There was some chatter he could potentially return this week, but that appears to be mostly shut down. Week 9 seems like a possibility, but even if it does not happen that week, he will likely be active when the 49ers welcome Washington. Well, that's assuming he does not get hurt again.
Week 14 @ Oakland Raiders
Safety Usama Young went down with a knee injury this week, and is done for the year. He had replaced Tyvon Branch, who broke his foot in September.
Wide receiver Rod Streater had foot surgery in September, and was placed on injured reserve with the return designation. He can return as soon as Week 13, so he could be back in time for the 49ers game. Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr has played some decent football this season, so bringing back a weapon for him would certainly help.
The Raiders lost outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a torn biceps muscle. He has not had a huge impact this season, so this is not exactly an awful thing for the Raiders.
Week 16 vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers faced the Broncos last, and were decidedly short-handed. They were without running backs Donald Brown (concussion) and Ryan Mathews (MCL), as well as cornerback Brandon Flowers (concussion). Brown has been out since suffering his concussion in Week 5, and there is no word on his return. Flowers suffered a concussion this past Sunday, and did not participate in practice this week. There is no word on his return. Mathews "may be out through Week 10 bye", but again, no specifics beyond that. He would likely be back in time for Week 16, assuming no other injury.
The big news for the Chargers in Week 8 was cornerback Jason Verrett. He suffered a shoulder injury that cost him Week 7, and was not expected to play in Week 8. He made it out for the game, but there are concerns he aggravated the shoulder and will miss significant time, according to Fox Sports 1's Mike Garafolo.
Week 17 @ Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington suffered a foot injury just prior to the start of the 2014 season, and it has turned into a big of a nagging issue. He has yet to miss a game, but he has been fairly limited in practice pretty much every week. He is dealing with a partial tendon tear, and he said it probably will not feel good until after the season.
The last time the 49ers and Cardinals squared off, quarterback Drew Stanton got the start, as Carson Palmer was sidelined with a shoulder ailment. Palmer returned to action October 12, and he is now officially removed from the injury report.