The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants released their injury reports for Sunday’s NFC Championship game. Jim Harbaugh listed all of the 49ers players on the injury report as questionable which he has done the last few weeks regardless of the seriousness of the injury. With Delanie Walker returning to limited practice this week after breaking his jaw and Jake Ballard not practicing all week because of a knee injury, tight end is the important position for the 49ers and Giants on the injury report.
Walker broke his jaw against the Seahawks in week 16 and has missed the last two games. Although Walker was limited in practiced he was cleared for contact. It has been reported Walker will be active on Sunday. The 49ers tight end playing will be a boost for the offense giving Alex Smith another receiving threat. Walker is known more for his excellent run blocking skills which has help lead the way for the 49ers rushing attack this season. Walker caught a season-high six receptions for 69 yards against the Giants in week 10.
Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. will most likely be inactive for the NFC Championship game because he did not practice all week. Ginn has been dealing with a knee injury that caused him to miss the last two games of the season. Ginn played last week but only had one reception for 11 yards. Third-string wide receiver Kyle Williams will fill the void left by Ginn by starting at WR and taking over responsibilities for punt returns. Kendall Hunter is expected to return kickoffs.
Center Jonathan Goodwin did not practice until Friday because of a calf injury. Even though Goodwin was limited in his one day of practice he is expected to play. However if Goodwin cannot go it will be bad news for the 49ers running game which will be key in beating the Giants. Right guard Anthony Snyder would shift over to center if Goodwin cannot go.
Also listed on the injury report were Tarell Brown (thigh) and Patrick Willis (knee) who were both at practice on Wednesday but missed Thursday because of their injuries. They returned to limited practice on Friday. There is no doubt Willis and Brown will play and start against the Giants with how big of game it is.
Last weeks hero on defense, safety Dashon Goldson, returned to practice on Thursday and Friday after missing out on Wednesday due to an ankle injury. Goldson is starting to become known as a hard hitter in the NFL world and it will take a broken ankle to keep Goldson out of this game. Goldson will start but we will probably see fellow safety Madieu Williams more in the rotation during the game to keep Goldson fresh.
The Giants had eight players listed as probable and one as questionable on the injury report. The players listed as probable include RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle), QB Eli Manning (illness), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (ankle) and C David Baas (illness). All are expected to play and start.
The biggest question mark for the Giants is tight end Jake Ballard who is battling knee issues. Ballard injured his knee against the Redskins in week 12. Ballard missed the last two regular season games but played in the Giants two playoffs games; however he was ineffective with only three receptions for 33 yards. Ballard will be a game-time decision. The Giants have plenty of receiving threats without Ballard but if the tight end does not play it means one less big receiving target to worry about. The tight end is the Giants third leading receiver with 38 receptions for 604 yard and four touchdowns this season.
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