According to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, the 49ers will miss the services of Trent Williams for the second week in a row:
Trent Williams who was listed as questionable today is not expected to play against the Bengals, per sources. The team is hoping another week of rest followed by the bye week will help improve his ankle.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) October 29, 2023
Williams is recovering from a lower ankle sprain. Kyle Shanahan had hoped that Williams would recover in 48 hours. Instead, the Niners’ star left tackle will have Week 8 and the bye week to fully recover.
Looking at this from a big picture perspective, the 49ers need Williams 100 percent for the rest of the season. It wouldn’t be fair to expect Williams to be at his best had he tried to play through an injury today and risk his sprain never fully recovering.
That puts more pressure on Jaylon Moore, who started in place of Williams last week. Moore played well, and was not the reason that San Francisco struggled to run the ball. The Vikings put so many defenders in the box where you’re left with no choice but to throw the ball.
Minnesota is also 12th against the run in DVOA (schedule adjusted efficiency). The Bengals are 27th. The 49ers should be able to protect their tackles, and Brock Purdy, more today if they can establish a running game. That’ll help slow down Cincinnati’s pass rushing duo of Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson.