The easiest path to making the playoffs is winning your division, and the 49ers improved to 4-0 in the NFC West. They’ll face another NFC West opponent this coming week, where San Francisco is expected to win comfortably.
What those odds don’t reflect is that the Niners may be short-handed. Adding Jason Verrett to the practice squad might mean starting cornerback Charvarius Ward sits out against Arizona with a groin injury. As of Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was “not sure” whether Ward sustained a long-term injury.
Arik Armstead sat out in Week 14. It’s not inconceivable that Armstead misses another week, if not more. In 59 total snaps, Kevin Givens played 24 against the Seahawks and Kalia Davis played 22. Javon Kinlaw started and was on the field for 35 snaps.
Javon Hargrave lasted 28 snaps before suffering a hamstring injury. Kyle Shanahan said postgame that Hargrave likely has a pulled hamstring:
“Hargrave was the hamstring, so I’m assuming he pulled it, but we got to find out for sure. You never know with the D-Linemen, how long they’ll be out on that, but we’ll know a little bit more tomorrow.”
Injuries for a hamstring injury can vary depending on the severity. Hargrave could miss three days or three months. There is a wide range of outcomes so it feels useless to speculate until Shanahan has additional information later this afternoon.
So, we could be looking at a couple of games where the 49ers defense has to play without their starting defensive tackles.
Dre Greenlaw and Oren Burks both left the game but were able to return. Burks had a knee injury while Greenlaw suffered a hip injury.