For the first time in its short history, the 49ers will be able to host a playoff game at Levi’s Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings will have the honor of being the opponent to take on the 49ers in Levi’s playoff debut. The Vikings were able to knock off the New Orleans Saints on the road in the wild card round to earn the trip to the Bay Area. They will be a tough opponent as they showed against a great home team like the Saints and the 49ers need to come into the game ready to play from the opening kickoff.
The 49ers were dealing with a few significant injuries during the regular season, but it seems like they will be getting healthy right on time for the Divisional round. Jaquiski Tartt, Dee Ford, and Kwon Alexander were all back at practice on Tuesday. The biggest surprise was LB Kwon Alexander. He suffered a pec injury in Week 9 and that was thought to be a potentially season-ending injury. He has been medically cleared and it is now up to Kyle Shanahan to give him the go-ahead for Saturday. Getting these three back would be huge for each level of the defense.
Saturday marks Jimmy Garoppolo’s first playoff start. He will be dueling with the quarterback that most experts thought Kyle Shanahan would get when he became the 49ers’ head coach. Kyle was the offensive coordinator for Kirk Cousins in Washington and it was rumored that he would try to get him to San Francisco when his contract was up. But thanks to the New England Patriots, Jimmy Garoppolo was acquired instead. He was given the big contract and after missing out on most of last season, he has led this team to a 13-3 record and home field throughout the playoffs. He has being getting better and better as the season has gone on and he was needed in the 2nd half of the season to help carry this team to the #1 seed in the NFC.
Jimmy and Kirk (Maiocco)
Dee ready to play? (Inman)
Kyle’s decision on Kwon’s playing time Saturday (NFL video)
Medical staff clears way for Kwon (Maiocco)
Red end zones for the playoffs (Madson)
Injury updates (Patrick)
Laken Tomlinson (Branch)
Big favorites against Minnesota (Madson)
Offseason needs (ESPN)
Stefon Diggs did not practice (Florio)
Giants’ new head coach (Raanan)
Panthers’ have a new coach as well (Newton)
Divisional round power rankings (Hanzus)