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With the number one seed locked up, the 49ers will look to get their players healthy for their playoff run in January. The question now becomes how much is too much rest, and can the 49ers keep their players sharp headed into the divisional round?
Deebo Samuel and Kyle Shanahan spoke about continuing practice habits this week while acknowledging that players won’t play the entire game. Christian McCaffrey injured himself on Sunday and will not play against the Rams.
The question is: How long should the 49ers play their guys on Sunday? A quarter? A drive? A half? The issue is: There are only a certain number of players that can play on game days. Some starters will have to play longer than others, based on the numbers game of game day rosters.
The hope is after the bye week to return Arik Armstead and Ji’Ayir Brown to the defensive lineup while Javon Hargrave and Christian McCaffrey nurse their injuries to full strength.
What about the history of number one seeds making the Super Bowl? Last season, both the Eagles and Chiefs made it to Arizona. That marked just the 14th time in NFL history both number-one seeds faced each other in the Super Bowl.
Since 1990, 18 of 64 top seeds lost in the divisional round, with 21.9 (14/64) percent of top seeds losing in the championship round. Fifty percent of top seeds made it to the Super Bowl. The odds are better than not for the 49ers.
Since 1975, 52 percent of top seeds hoisted the Lombardi. Sixteen from the NFC and nine from the AFC before Kansas City won again last season.
What are your thoughts? How long should the 49ers play their guys, if at all, on Sunday? My guess is there won’t be a perfect scenario, and everyone won’t be pleased.