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Jimmie Ward, Dan Skuta unlikely to play vs. Giants, Chris Borland should play

The San Francisco 49ers will likely be without a few players on their defense when they travel to face the New York Giants. We break down Vic Fangio's updates on several injury situations.

Norm Hall

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media Thursday morning, and addressed several injury situations. He said Jimmie Ward and Dan Skuta were unlikely to play on Sunday against the New York Giants, and Chris Borland should be able to play. This follows Wednesday's report that Tramaine Brock is expected to miss Sunday's game.

Ward suffered a foot injury this past weekend against the New Orleans Saints. Fangio was not sure if it was related to the injury that resulted in surgery prior to the draft, but that it was the same foot. Ward's absence means Perrish Cox will move into the slot role when the 49ers move into their nickel defense. With Brock expected to miss Sunday's game, that means Dontae Johnson would then come on as an outside cornerback. According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants have used 3+ wide receiver personnel 74.8 percent of this season, so we could see a lot of Dontae Johnson.

Dan Skuta is not expected to play as he continues rehabbing his ankle injury. Aldon Smith will return on Sunday, and Vic Fangio said he was not entirely sure how much playing time Smith would receive in the game. Without Skuta, Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks would likely get the start, with Smith rotating in for some number of nickel situations.

Chris Borland is dealing with a shoulder injury, but Fangio believes he will be fine to play this Sunday. Borland wearing a non-contact jersey on Wednesday, so the team is taking it easy with him leading up to the game. Borland dealt with shoulder issues in college, with two surgeries on his left shoulder, and one on his right shoulder. Fangio was not sure if these injuries were connected to that.

Finally, Glenn Dorsey remains a question mark to be activated this weekend. Fangio said Dorsey was close, but was not sure if he was close enough. Fangio said he was looking at Dorsey's confidence and freedom in his arm, and would see what the next couple days of practice bring.