The 49ers won’t be the only team missing key starters on Sunday. The Rams will be without starting running back Todd Gurley and cornerback Aqib Talib. Talib’s backup, Troy Hill, has played 22 snaps all season and hasn’t been targeted. The Rams have played plenty without Gurley, especially last season. Malcolm Brown has 26 carries for 114 yards. He’s broken eight tackles and is far from a slouch. The Rams also drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round. He’s only played one snap this season, but he’s speedy, and he may be relied on come Sunday.
As for the 49ers, George Kittle was limited Friday with a groin injury. He’s listed as questionable, but Shanahan said that he will be available to play Sunday. Dee Ford practiced on Friday. He’s been limited to 16 and 17 snaps the past two games. He also didn’t practice much at all during those weeks. I’d expect an uptick in snaps for Ford.
Marquise Goodwin was excused from practice Friday for a personal matter. He’ll play, per Shanahan.
Shanahan intimated that Jordan Matthews will be inactive this week but he left the door open for Jeff Wilson to suit up for the game. Could we see more two-back sets, or is Wilson going to play the de facto fullback?
Heading into Sunday, these are the players that will not suit up:
Those are big-time names. Not to mention the previous injuries the 49ers had at the wide receiver position. Every team goes through this in the NFL, to some degree. With both teams short-handed, we’ll see how each coaching staff adjusts.
Here’s the 49ers injury report.
FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee)
T Mike McGlinchey (knee)
T Joe Staley (fibula)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot)
TE George Kittle (groin)