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Golden Nuggets: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith didn’t know Sunday’s game was flexed until Thursday

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, December 18, 2020

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Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 49ers will travel to Dallas after Friday’s practice. The likelihood of Raheem Mostert playing on Sunday is good. George Kittle? While he looked better during Thursday’s practice, not so much.

Cowboys, 49ers flexed out of prime time in Week 15 - How did it come to this?

No team in the NFL has been hit harder by injuries than the 49ers. As of this week, they have more than $71 million on injured reserve. At one point, they were missing more than $80 million in salary-cap space because of various ailments.

That means most of the Niners’ best players have missed extended time this season. It’s a group that includes quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive ends Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, tight end George Kittle and cornerback Richard Sherman. That doesn’t even account for key players such as center Weston Richburg and defensive lineman Ronald Blair III, both of whom have been on the physically unable to perform list all season.

To their credit, the 49ers have remained competitive despite the onslaught of injuries, but the toll has caught up to them down the stretch and has them on the brink of elimination from the postseason.

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith just learned Sunday’s game against 49ers had been flexed to afternoon

Turns out the Dallas Cowboys linebacker wasn’t aware that his team’s Week 15 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers had been flexed out of its originally scheduled Sunday night slot. The game in North Texas will now kick off at 1 p.m. E.T.

“Honestly,” Smith said Thursday after practice, “I didn’t know until now.”

He apparently missed that memo in the eight days since the change was announced.

“If you think I’m lying, ask my lady. Ask my peoples,” Smith said. “I don’t focus on what’s happening in the future. I be embracing each moment, each day.”

Kyle Shanahan detailed the best way for backup QBs to have long NFL careers

“Some backup quarterbacks don’t get in for 10 years or they just get a couple of quarters over 10 years and that’s why they have a 10-year career,” Shanahan said. “And then some guys get in a ton and they only have a three-year career.

“Usually backup quarterbacks, when they get in a lot, they don’t last that long because of how hard it is to play for even starting quarterbacks. Nick and C.J. both have been in some really tough positions for backup quarterbacks.”

Although Garoppolo might return to some limited work next week as he continues to rehabilitate from a severe high-ankle sprain, it appears likely the 49ers will finish this season with a backup quarterback on the field.

Adam Schefter does not think Matthew Stafford can stomach another rebuild

During an interview on Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan, Adam Schefter stated his belief that Stafford won’t want to go through yet another rebuilding process with the only NFL franchise he’s suited up for.

“Knowing what I know, I don’t think he’s going to have the stomach to go through another rebuilding job. He might want to go on to play for a team that is ready to win right now,” Shefter said. “I think that’s an unsettled, fluid situation.”

Rumors have already begun swirling that the Lions could look to move on from Stafford during the offseason.

Stafford, who has two years remaining on his current deal that carries a $34.9 million cap hit in 2021 and $27.9 million cap hit in 2022, was injured in last weekend’s game against the Green Bay Packers, putting his status for this weekend against the Tennessee Titans in doubt.

SF 49ers vs. Cowboys: C.J. Beathard should start in Week 15

Here’s the wild part, if Beathard comes in and picks up a win against a Dallas Cowboys team that is also struggling without its top quarterback, Dak Prescott, the SF 49ers can make a run at the final Wild Card spot.

A win for Beathard would also mean he gets the keys for the rest of the season, which would be to the delight of the SF 49ers Faithful.

We’ve only seen the 27 year old three times in 2020, but from what we’ve witnessed, he’s clearly an upgrade and could provide a much-needed spark to make sure the SF 49ers finish 8-8.

Beathard has completed 60 percent of his passes, has a touchdown, and seems to be more confident in the pocket. The argument will be “these are garbage-time stats,” and while it may be true, this team needs something positive.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles, he came in with less than five minutes to play and the SF 49ers down 24-14. His pocket presence was calm and quick. His passes were accurate and he was able to get his team down the field to score a touchdown.

Beathard’s only questionable play on the touchdown drive was not running the ball on the two-point conversion. Seriously, how do you not run it when there’s nobody within 5 yards? But it gave his team some hope and a bit of life. Even on the Hail Mary with no time left, he threw a decent ball and it was just well defended with three 49ers in the area.