The San Francisco 49ers are 2-2 through a quarter of the 2020 NFL regular season. It isn’t where the Niners wanted to be, but injuries have decimated one of the deepest rosters in the league.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Raheem Mostert could be in the lineup for the Week 5 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, while Richard Sherman is expected to play.
It’s tough to place where San Francisco is in the NFL’s pecking order. Losing Nick Bosa in the second game of the year knocked the 49ers down a few pegs, but if the team can get some of the injured players back sooner-than-later, the Niners will climb up the ladder.
Here is where some of the major media outlets have San Francisco through four weeks:
ESPN has the 49ers 13th (down two spots from last week)
FPI chance to make playoffs: 61.4%
In past years, this would probably be too high, but with seven playoff spots available for the first time, the Niners still have a good shot to get back to the postseason despite their disappointing start. This team has been ravaged by injuries but should get many of the key players back in the next few weeks. The schedule is going to get more difficult and the margin for error much smaller, but in looking around the NFC, it’s still hard to find seven teams that are undoubtedly better. Just don’t expect another NFC West title and the No. 1 seed. — Nick Wagoner
NFL.com has the 49ers 14th (down to spots from last week)
You hate to put too much of the blame for a loss on one player, but Nick Mullens pretty much got the 49ers beat on Sunday night. His struggles against the Eagles started right out of the gate, when he airmailed a throw to Kyle Juszczyk on a play that should have gone for a huge gain. His final pass was a game-deciding pick-six, thrown directly into the arms of linebacker Alex Singleton in the fourth quarter. That’s when Kyle Shanahan pulled the cord and brought in C.J. Beathard, who deserves credit for making things interesting until the final pass, an unanswered Hail Mary in the end zone. The Niners are starting to get healthy on offense; now they just need Jimmy Garoppolo to join George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and friends.
CBS Sports has the 49ers 19th (down five spots from last week)
The injuries have been too much for this team so far. Even so, you shouldn’t lose a game to an undermanned Eagles team at home.
USA TODAY has the 49ers 17th (down five spots from last week)
How battered are reigning NFC champs? They’ve already been forced to use a league-high 63 players, four more than the next-closest team.
Yahoo has the 49ers 15th (down six spots from last week)
San Francisco’s season so far: Lose to Arizona at home, beat the beyond-awful Jets, beat the slightly-less-awful Giants, lose at home to an Eagles team that was decimated with injuries and might not be very good. Injuries have certainly affected the 49ers, and it’s clear after watching Nick Mullens that they need Jimmy Garoppolo back, but that’s not a start that will create much optimism.
Bleacher Report has the 49ers 16th (down one spot from last week)
With any number of prominent players on both sides of the ball (including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo) banged up, the San Francisco 49ers fell to 2-2 with their Sunday night loss against the Eagles.
According to Sobleski, trouble could be brewing for the defending NFC champions.
“Injuries finally caught up to the 49ers during San Francisco’s contest with the Eagles,” he said. “At 2-2 with what seems like half the team trying to get healthy, the 49ers face a brutal upcoming stretch through early December. Even with a healthy Garoppolo, it’s hard to envision this squad makes another strong postseason run.”
He’s not exaggerating. This week’s home tilt with the Dolphins looks winnable and could offer C.J. Beathard an opportunity to get comfortable at quarterback after he replaced Nick Mullens in Week 4.
NFC West teams:
Seattle Seahawks: ESPN (No.2), NFL (No. 6), CBS (No. 5), USA TODAY (No. 3), Yahoo (No. 5), Bleacher Report (No. 3).
Los Angeles Rams: ESPN (No. 8), NFL (No. 9), CBS (No. 11), USA TODAY (No. 7), Yahoo (No. 7), Bleacher Report (No. 9).
Arizona Cardinals: ESPN (No. 16), NFL (No. 16), CBS (No. 16), USA TODAY (No. 16), Yahoo (No. 16), Bleacher Report (No. 15).