Get ready for the first of two weeks that will be, barring disaster, stress-free football. The San Francisco 49ers are back and hosting the Los Angeles Rams to finish their regular season. Both teams have their postseason locked in, and in the 49ers’ case, they are the No. 1 Seed. Expect to see a lot of Sam Darnold and limited time from the starters. This will be an afternoon game. Adam Amin has the play-by-play while Mark Schlereth has the commentary.
The 49ers were given a gift by their division rivals in Arizona as the Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles, freeing up the No. 1 Seed and giving the 49ers a chance to rest their VIPs. Kyle Shanahan has indicated that he wants to play the starters, but for sure quarterback Brock Purdy will not be playing. That means we’ll be getting a healthy dose of Sam Darnold and a chance to see how far he’s come in Kyle Shanahan’s system.
The Rams have clinched a playoff spot, but whether it’s the No. 6 or No. 7 seed is yet to be decided. If they win today or the Packers lose, they get the No. 6 spot. If they lose and the Packers win, the Packers move up to the No. 6 seed. Like the 49ers, the Rams are planning on being cautious with the starters, announcing backup quarterback Carson Wentz will be playing instead of Matthew Stafford.
This game is going to be interesting. This will give fans a chance to see how some backups look late in the season once the starters are pulled (if they are pulled, of course) and the aforementioned Sam Darnold debut.
The 49ers for sure will be without defensive lineman Arik Armstead who is still working through a foot issue. Safety Ji’Ayir Brown (knee), , safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (quad), running back Christian McCaffrey (calf), and cornerback Ambry Thomas are some notable names for sure to be out of the game Sunday. Kyle Juszczyk is also on the injury designation with an “illness”.
Saturday’s notable confirmations include wide receivers Jauan Jennings and Danny Gray as out on Saturday.
The 49ers have also gotten some pieces back. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud has been activated from the Injured Reserve list. He’ll probably get his feet wet on Sunday with a few plays before the 49ers put him on the line for the postseason.
The Rams will be without tight end Tyler Higbee and offensive lineman Joe Noteboom with they deal with a shoulder and foot injury respectively. Non injury related sits are quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Kyren Williams, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and linebacker Ernest Jones
Date: Sunday, January 7, 2024
Kickoff: 01:25 AM PST, 04:25 PM EST
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Play-by-Play: Adam Amin
Color Analyst: Mark Schlereth
Broadcast Map (from 506sports.com)