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49ers-Cardinals injury report: Alex Boone should play, but if not, who replaces him?

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The San Francisco 49ers had Christmas off, but the team released an estimated practice participation report. Since the 49ers played on Saturday, they were able to get in plenty of work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, before taking Christmas off. They will return on Friday with their final practice session of the season.

Nothing changed in the report, with Alex Boone and Perrish Cox estimated as DNP's for practice. I suspect Boone plays and Cox does not, but we will find out more when the 49ers release their final injury report on Friday. Jim Harbaugh will speak to the media, so he'll get a chance to potentially clarify things.

I figure Boone will play, but if not, the question becomes who replaces him. Joe Looney has been the primary utility interior lineman, but the team deactivated him last week. He got the start at center the week before due to Marcus Martin's knee injury. It was a tall order getting his first start at center in Seattle, and he struggled. Greg Roman acknowledged this last week, and then he was inactive on Sunday.

Is the team prepared to move on from Looney sooner rather than later? They'll have Daniel Kilgore back in 2015 to compete with Marcus Martin at center, and Dillon Farrell has flexibility across the line. And let's not forget Brandon Thomas returning from ACL surgery. Could Looney be the odd man out this time next year? My guess is he sticks with the team through the offseason program and will compete in training camp. However, I could very well see him as one of the roster cuts at the end of training camp. He has not really emerged as a decent starting option at this point, so they might as well look for other reserve options.

49ers injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Alex Boone OG knee DNP DNP
Tramaine Brock CB hamstring Limited Limited
Ahmad Brooks OLB thumb Limited Limited
Perrish Cox CB shoulder DNP DNP
Michael Crabtree WR knee Full Full
Chris Culliver CB knee Limited Limited
Bruce Ellington WR hamstring Limited Limited
Carlos Hyde RB ankle DNP DNP
Stevie Johnson WR knee DNP DNP
Brandon Lloyd WR groin Full Full
Marcus Martin C illness DNP Limited
Eric Reid S concussion DNP DNP
Justin Smith DT back DNP DNP
Raymond Ventrone S groin DNP DNP

Cardinals injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Lorenzo Alexander LB knee Limited Full
Jaron Brown WR foot Limited Limited
Deone Bucannon S knee DNP Limited
Calais Campbell DE hip Limited Limited
John Carlson TE calf DNP Limited
Jonathan Cooper OG wrist Limited Limited
Larry Fitzgerald WR knee Full Limited
Larry Foote LB knee DNP DNP
Rashad Johnson S ankle Limited Full
Ted Larsen G shoulder Limited Full
Tyrann Mathieu S thumb Full Full
Matt Shaughnessy LB shoulder Limited Full
Drew Stanton QB knee DNP DNP
Dan Williams DT foot -- DNP


BOLD-Indicates change in status

Out - player definitely will not play
Doubtful - at least 75% chance player will not play
Questionable - 50-50 chance player will not play
Probable - virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty