The 49ers got by the Rams without star left tackle Trent Williams in the lineup. Elijah Mitchell covered up missed blocks from Colton McKivitz on running plays, while Jimmy Garoppolo masked a few blown blocks from McKivitz on passing plays.
The Niners won’t be as fortunate to skate by the Cowboys without Williams. Thankfully, they won’t have to.
Williams, who didn’t practice all of last week or on Wednesday, returned to practice Thursday. That’s a great sign and a strong indication that the Texas native will play Sunday against the Cowboys.
During Thursday’s media availability, Williams went into depth about the elbow sprain he suffered against the Texans.
Williams isn’t a fan of having to wear an elbow brace but said his “elbow is doing good. It’s made a lot of improvements over the last week or so.” Williams added that he wouldn’t need surgery on his left elbow. He specifically said, “there’s a non-surgical approach.”
Williams said the injury occurred on the sixth play against Houston a couple of weeks ago. He attempted to push through the pain and play on adrenaline but acknowledged playing against the Rams last week was “a shot in the dark.”
More from Williams on missing the Rams game: It was tough, going down 17-0, me. I took a lot of it personally because I thought if I didn’t have a stupid injury, I could be helping the team. I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but it sucked watching your brothers fight for the season.”
Williams said he feels much better now after “I gritted through it and paid the price.” So much so that he’s going with tape instead of a brace during Thursday’s practice.
He also sounded like a man who spent all game yelling, as he still didn’t fully have his voice back from screaming on the sidelines Sunday.
This is the first time Williams has been in the playoffs since 2016. He’s only made the playoffs twice in his career. He spoke about his last memory and what it’s like to be in the playoffs now: I don’t even remember what it was like in 2016. But I know the vibe now. This is amazing. The sun is shining brighter; it seems like. Day starts out nicer. It’s so gratifying to know that we’re still here.”
Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report.
LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee)
LB Marcell Harris (Achilles)
S Talanoa Hufanga (knee)
RB Elijah Mitchell (knee)
S Jaquiski Tartt (groin)
T Trent Williams (elbow)
P Mitch Wishnowsky (concussion)
DL Nick Bosa (not injury related - resting player)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (right thumb)
LB Dre Greenlaw (groin)
DL Maurice Hurst (calf)
TE George Kittle (not injury related - resting player)
C Alex Mack (not injury related - resting player)
Hurst hasn’t played since Week 5, so he should be fresh. Garoppolo no longer being limited signals he’s fully recovered from his thumb injury.