Good morning folks, and a happy Thursday to you. Wednesday is usually when the first injury report of the week is released, but due to the 49ers’ Monday game against the New York Giants, the scheduled has been pushed back a day, and it won’t be until later today that we’ll have some information on the current injuries. However, we still have a Thursday night game tonight, and it should be a good one. The 6-2 Carolina Panthers face off against the 5-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, in a likely high-flying battle between two teams poised to make the playoffs.
The Panthers, despite their excellent record, are actually second in their division (behind the Saints) - and despite two- and three-game leads on the Falcons and Buccaneers respectively, must remain motivated, as either of those teams can get hot at any given time. The Steelers, enjoying an embarrassment of riches at the running back position, are in the lead of their division sans all-world RB Le’Veon Bell, who is making enormous waves with rare dedication to his holdout. However, their stranglehold on their division is precarious at best, as the second place Bengals are a mere half-game behind. Both teams employ big-armed and big-bodied (the lightest of which is 240 pounds) QBs, heading potent offenses featuring devastating aerial attacks capable of achieving success against every level of the opposing defense. Tonight’s game should be a passing clinic, and very Fantasy Football relevant.
Switching gears - the trade deadline came and went, albeit with a large amount of noise surrounding the 49ers, but ultimately nothing of substance. However, an odd post-trade deadline free agency cropped up shortly thereafter, with above-average rotational players Ameer Abdullah and Bruce Irvin being terminated from their teams, and big named free agent Dez Bryant finally finding a team. Each of these players might have represented an upgrade for the 49ers’ roster, and each of them, instead, landed with playoff competitors. No soup for us. All things considered, it makes sense for these guys to seek a team that’s going somewhere this season - these guys are all on the back half of their career, and unlikely to provide more than complimentary production to the primary options already possessed by their new teams. If you were going to be a rotational piece, wouldn’t you rather be doing it somewhere where the goal isn’t “draft positioning”?
Recap of Raheem Mostert’s big day against the Raiders | Garcia, 4th & 9
49ers made hard run at Bruce Irvin | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Madson, Ninerswire
Ahkello Witherspoon very excited to face Odell Beckham Jr | Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area
Nick Mullens’ huddle antics lighten the mood | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Almquist, KNBR
George Kittle earned recognition from Travis Kelce | KNBR Staff
Dekoda Watson has career game after going on diet | Almquist, KNBR
49ers Mailbag | Biderman, Sac Bee
Review of first half of the season | Wagoner, ESPN