Kyle’s update, Friday, January 21, 1:30 p.m.: Nick Bosa has been cleared from the concussion protocol. Originally listed with a “questionable” designation on the injury report, Bosa will suit up without any injury designation Saturday.
We can entertain the idea of Bosa playing fewer snaps since he’s coming off a concussion in a short week. But we all know he’s going to play as often as possible in a playoff game. I doubt he’d play if this were a regular-season game.
The Packers activated a pair of defensive linemen in Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus. Green Bay is short-handed up front, and both players are unlikely to play full-time, but it gives them much-needed bodies as they attempt to stop the 49ers' potent rushing attack.
DL Nick Bosa (head)
CB Ambry Thomas (knee)
DL Jordan Willis (ankle)
Bosa has yet to be cleared from the concussion protocol, while Willis is suffering from a high-ankle sprain. I’d be surprised if Willis played. As for Bosa, a Saturday game following being concussed on a Sunday would be the reason he’s inactive. Kyle Shanahan said, “it’s looking good” for Bosa to be cleared before Kickoff.
Shanahan said he thinks Thomas will be all right from the bone bruise in his knee. The team will wait and see as they get closer to game time.
Just as they were getting competent play from any, let alone a rookie cornerback, he’s banged up. It’ll come down to either Josh Norman or Dontae Johnson if Thomas can't go.
There were no limitations for Jimmy Garoppolo during the week as he’s dealing with a shoulder and thumb injury. As you can see above, Jimmy’s no longer listed on the injury report. Here’s Shanahan:
“Threw the ball great. He looked as good as he did the week before. Jimmy’s been playing through things, but why he’s full go. He’s good enough to play, and we don’t plan it any differently.”
Shanahan gave high praise to Deebo Samuel: “He has a passion for the game that makes him one of the best players in the league.” Deebo has seen an uptick in touches as the 49ers have needed production.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him used as a return man this weekend, knowing the 49ers haven’t gotten much of anything out of their kick return unit. Here’s Deebo on being sore after games:
“Body be hurting early in the week, once you run around and do what need to do to get body right, body feels the best it can be at this point. Have to have the mindset it’s going to be hurting, and you have to push yourself through it.”
Here’s the Packers injury report:
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back)
T David Bakhtiari (knee)
CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder)
Valdes-Scantling is their WR3, while Baktiari and Alexander are two of Green Bay’s better players. Za’Darius Smith will need to be activated by tomorrow if he’ll play. Smith may be the most important player as the Packers have struggled mightily to replace Smith and Whitney Mercilus when they’re not on the field.