The injury report for both teams headed into Sunday’s matchup is lengthy. There’s quite a bit of talent that will be out in Sunday’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. That shouldn’t take away from the usual fireworks that happen when these two teams meet.
This falls in line with head coach Kyle Shanahan saying Monday that the plan was to rest McKinnon in Week 7 against New England. McKinnon saw just 12 snaps and carried the ball three times against the Patriots. JaMycal Hasty looks like he could serve as the team’s lead back this week against Seattle after Jeff Wilson went down with an ankle injury and Raheem Mostert remains sidelined. Hasty’s Week 8 role will hinge on the availability of Tevin Coleman (knee), who reportedly had a heavy workload in practice this week. 49ers general manager John Lynch said he’s “hopeful” Coleman can suit up against the Seahawks. Hasty would be a low-end RB2 play if Coleman is out. McKinnon should see some passing down involvement and profiles as a risky flex play in deeper leagues.
Where the 49ers can be exploited
Though they have fared well for the most part without Richard Sherman and K’Waun Williams, San Francisco’s cornerbacks will be the position Seattle hopes to exploit. While Sherman is the missing name everyone will look to, it’s Williams whose absence should be felt the most on Sunday—provided he remains on I.R., though he has been designated to return and has not yet been ruled out.
Should Williams stay on I.R. through Week 8, Tyler Lockett will get the chance to follow up on his marvelous 15-catch, 200-yard, three-touchdown day with a matchup against Jamar Taylor. In relief of Williams, Taylor has been dreadful, allowing over 15 yards per reception. A matchup against Lockett would be wildly one-sided, while even a return for Williams could prove tricky for the 49ers, with his mobility certain to be impacted coming off knee and hip injuries.
However, the middle of the field will still prove to be tricky to navigate, as San Francisco boasts the best linebacker in the NFL.
Still, the 49ers’ defense needs a boost and the Dallas Cowboys are C-O-O-K-E-D. So, John Lynch sends a sixth-round pick to Dallas for Aldon Smith.
Smith’s base salary is $2 million, so the prorated amount should be able to work for the 49ers with some slight cap maneuvering and they get someone who can help pick up the slack with Bosa out for the season and Dee Ford battling a neck injury.
Three of Seattle’s four running backs—Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde and Travis Homer—all came out of last week’s game with injuries, and will all be evaluated on game-day, Carroll said. Hyde, who is listed as doubtful, and Carson, who is questionable, did not practice all week, while Homer was able to return to practice on a limited basis on Friday.
“We’re going all the way to game time on all three guys and just see what happens then,” Carroll said. “We did not practice them this week and that was just to give them every single day to have a chance to get back. So we’ll see them on the field on Sunday.”
“Pass rushers and corner, that’s what I’d look at if I’m the Niners,” Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Grant Liffmann. ”Just to see, is there a team like the Falcons who might have a fire sale here down the stretch. You see the Cowboys are starting along those line.
“I think it’s just gonna be looking at teams like that.”
“I think most importantly I look at running back, corner and pass rusher would be the three areas I look to improve on more than anything,” Simms said.
DeeJay Dallas is the Seahawks fourth-string running back but he may have to start if the three ahead of him are unable to play.
Chris Carson got injured in last week’s matchup and is considered week-to-week with a foot injury. As he was unable to return, Carlos Hyde had to come in and he got injured as well with a groin issue.
While Hyde could play this week, he has yet to practice which is a sign that he’s not looking good to suit up. Third-string running back Travis Homer is dealing with a knee issue and like Hyde, he has yet to practice this week either.
With Carson for sure out as well as Hyde and Homer not looking likely to play as we inch closer to Sunday, Dallas will have to take on a big load. Dallas has only gotten two carries this season for eight yards and it remains to be seen how he will handle RB1 snaps if he’s thrust into that role.