The San Francisco 49ers are trending up injury wise ahead of Monday night’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. According to the beat reporters at practice on Friday, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave returned. As did running back Elijah Mitchell.
Kalia Davis was recently placed on the injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. The Niners just added another defensive tackle, Taylor Stallworth, to the practice squad. Needless to say, the depth is thin at a position where you can’t afford it to be.
Hargrave playing is the difference between a third or fourth-string player getting starter reps compared to a defensive tackle who signed an $84 million contract. He’s also been terrific as a pass rusher and is the type of player who can end a drive.
The 49ers did not get Arik Armstead back at practice. He’s been out since Week 13, and it doesn’t appear a return is imminent. The good news is, despite whatever media build-up there is for Monday night’s game, it’s a non-conference contest.
If the Niners are going to win the Super Bowl this season, they’ll need Arik at 100 percent. He needs to rest until that’s the case, even if it means missing a game of this perceived magnitude.
Against a physical team like the Ravens, does Mitchell resume RB2 duties, or do those go to Jordan Mason, who played well against Arizona? That’s something to keep an eye on.
Jauan Jennings has yet to be cleared from the concussion protocol. He’s a big deal. Much is made of Jennings as a run blocker, and he’s crucial in that area, but Jauan comes up with about four to five plays a game that end up making a difference. His presence will be missed against a defense that doesn’t beat themselves.