The San Francisco 49ers has six players listed as questionable and one out for the game against the Rams on Sunday. Two of the players, Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams, have not practiced all week and will most likely be unavailable on Sunday. With receivers Joshua Morgan already out for the season, Braylon Edwards released and tight end Delanie Walker out for the game with a broken jaw, the receiving options will be lacking.
With the second and third receivers out for the game on Sunday, Alex Smith will be throwing instead to Brett Swain and Joe Hastings who have with only one career start between them. The receiver most likely to start for Ginn, and who has the lone career start, will be Swain. The 49ers offense already has trouble passing down the field and having two receivers with limited experience could be a problem, but lucky they are going up against the Rams. The one thing Swain and Hastings have a lot of is speed which could draw defenders off of Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. Still, expect a heavy attack from the running game.
The real problem for the 49ers will be in the return game. Ginn and Williams were the first two options in returning kickoffs and punts. With both most likely out for the game, special teams coordinator Brad Seely will turn to Reggie Smith for return punts, with Kendall Hunter and Chris Culliver handling return kicks. It is one thing for the 49ers offense to be missing three important pieces to the passing game but to also loose your top two returners is harder to replace. The 49ers will be able to pull out the win against the lowly Rams, but don’t expect a game like the shutout we saw in week 13.
Patrick Willis and his hamstring will be a game-time decision. I think Jim Harbaugh should sit Willis one last time. Even with the other injuries on the team Willis is important to the team’s chances of advancing in the playoffs and forcing him to play on Sunday could cause him to miss the post-season. Backup linebacker Larry Grant has shown he can handle filling in for Willis and the Rams offense will not produce much of a threat with a third string quarterback starting.
49ers Injury Report
Out: Delanie Walker (broken jaw)
Questionable: Ted Ginn (ankle), Kyle Williams (concussion), Chris Culliver (shoulder), Bruce Miller (knee), Carlos Rogers (knee) and Patrick Willis (hamstring).
Rams Injury Report
Doubtful: Sam Bradford (ankle), A.J. Feeley (thumb)
Questionable: Chris Long (ankle)
Probable: Brady Poppinga (illness), Josh Gordy (abdomen) and Jerious Norwood (illness)