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49ers might struggle to field 46 healthy players this Sunday vs. Giants

The 49ers are the walking wounded right now.

The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with as many injured players on their roster as just about any team in the league. They have 17 players on injured reserve, and will likely add Garry Gilliam to the list in the next day or two. However, beyond that, they are stuck with a host of injured players that are going to be questionable this week, or have already been ruled out.

On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan opened his weekly day after the game press conference with a rundown of the injury report. He said that WR Trent Taylor, TE George Kittle, and LB Elijah Lee are all going to miss this Sunday’s game. They also have a laundry list of players who will be questionable heading into practice. That group includes

DL Solomon Thomas
OT Joe Staley
DT D.J. Jones
DE Aaron Lynch
CB Dontae Johnson
CB K'Waun Williams
FB Kyle Juszczyk
OT Joe Staley
OG Brandon Fusco

Staley seems all but certain to be out, and my guess is Thomas will get this week plus the bye week to get his MCL sprain healthy. Lynch has been week-to-week with a calf injury, and his status remains unclear. Williams has missed two games with a quadricep injury, while Juszczyk had an MRI on his neck on Monday.

All of this is to say, the 49ers might struggle to dress a healthy team on Sunday. Each NFL team has to deactivate seven players, meaning you have 46 available on game day. With Kittle, Taylor, and Lee out, and then Thomas and Staley likely out as well, that leaves two more inactive spots and a lot more question marks. Even with the IR moves, there just might not be enough bodies to fill out the 46 man active roster. They’ll have 46 active players, but it is possible one or two that would normally play on special teams or in a rotation role will not actually be available.