The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams have submitted their final injury reports to the NFL, and some notable names will be absent on Sunday. The Rams ground game in particular will be the one to watch on both sides of the ball.
The 49ers have ruled Quinton Dial out for Sunday's game. He is dealing with a back injury, which Jim Tomsula described as a muscle issue. It sounds like it is not a huge issue, but with nothing to play for and this being the final game of the season, there is no point in aggravating the injury in a significant manner. In his absence, Mike Purcell, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Arik Armstead are the three names to watch around Ian Williams. Purcell has been getting starter snaps lately, so TJE and Armstead will likely split work on the other side. Maybe we'll get to see Armstead get a full workload vs. the Rams.
The 49ers will also likely be without Marcus Martin and Jaquiski Tartt. Both are listed as doubtful, which means they have a 25 percent or less chance of playing. Tartt's absence is kind of fascinating because that would seem to mean Jimmie Ward is probably the strong safety in his place. If that's the case, I'm not entirely sure who would handle nickel back work. Maybe Keith Reaser gets some more snaps for the first time in a while? Or do Dontae Johnson and Kenneth Acker work as the second and third cornerbacks?
The Rams will likely be without arguably their most important offensive player. Running back Todd Gurley suffered a foot injury last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and he is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game. The Rams practice report has not been submitted, but odds are pretty good he will be listed as a DNP.
Tre Mason will likely get the start in place of Gurley. Case Keenum has done some good things for the Rams, but will they be able to establish their ground game without Gurley. Not facing Dial is a big deal, but Mason is a significant downgrade from Gurley. I have felt like this would be a fairly low-scoring game, but this development in the Rams rushing offense and 49ers rushing defense leaves me a little uncertain what to expect in this game.
49ers injury report
Out: DT Quinton Dial (back), LB Michael Wilhoite (ankle)
Doubtful: C Marcus Martin (concussion), S Jaquiski Tartt (knee)
Probable: DT Arik Armstead (shoulder, shin), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder, finger), CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder, back), T Trenton Brown (knee), LB Eli Harold (finger), CB Dontae Johnson (ankle), RB Bruce Miller (foot), T Erik Pears (knee), S Eric Reid (hip), WR Torrey Smith (back, foot), T Joe Staley (knee, illness)
Rams injury report
Doubtful: RB Todd Gurley (foot)
Questionable: T Andrew Donnal (knee)
Probable: S Mark Barron (concussion), DT Michael Brockers (thigh), DT Ethan Westbrooks (concussion)