The talk through the whole week about the San Francisco 49ers’ upcoming NFC Championship matchup was the Lions and their ability to run the ball. Well, the Lions run game may be knocked back a peg with some injuries
Both left guard Jonah Jackson (knee) and center Frank Ragnow (ankle/toe/back/knee) have not practiced on Thursday. On Friday, Ragnow returned to practice, and is off the injury report. It’s a safe bet Jackson won’t be playing Sunday due to minor knee surgery performed following the Lions win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional. This is a huge blow to the Lions.
Ragnow said he was feeling better than expected and practiced in full Friday which means he’ll play. He obviously won’t be at 100 percent which would give the interior a bit of a leg up
This bodes well for a 49ers defensive line that was having issues generating pressure against the Green Bay Packers last Saturday. Nick Bosa managed to get into the backfield but Jordan Love’s mobility was a huge asset in avoiding the costly sacks that comes with it. Chase Young was mostly invisible and Arik Armstead was knocking off the rust having not played for a few weeks. One of the keys to winning will be making Lions quarterback Jared Goff uncomfortable and he’s not near as mobile as Love.
This also may help a bit in the run game as well. While the numbers indicate the Packers were able to run all over the 49ers, a lot of that success was from the 53-yard run by Aaron Jones. Make no mistake, taking that run out doesn’t make the 49ers world beaters; run defense wasn’t adequate, but it wasn’t near as bad as you may be led to believe. Losing a guard and having a center on one leg could be the difference in the power battle with the 49ers defense stuffing gaps. Especially in the 4th down playcalls Dan Campbell loves to use.