The San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1) wrap up the regular season this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals (5-10) who are looking to play spoilers. The 49ers will win the NFC West title with a win or a Seattle Seahawks loss. The biggest other game to watch for a 49ers fan this weekend is the Green Bay Packers versus the Minnesota Vikings. If the Packers lose and the 49ers win, the 49ers will lock up the second playoff seed and get a very important first round bye. The 49ers have suffered several key injuries over the past few weeks and things are not looking good as they limp into the playoffs so the extra rest could prove vital. Here are the 49ers Gold Points for the week:
- The 49ers announced this week that DE Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps tendon. His return for the playoffs is uncertain and he will likely not play against the Cardinals in order to avoid further injury. This is a huge loss for the 49ers if he misses the playoffs. As we saw against the Patriots and the Seahawks, this just isn’t the same defense without him on the field. Coach Jim Harbaugh said today that Justin will need surgery in the offseason whether he plays or not.
- TE Vernon Davis was cleared for practice on Thursday after suffering a concussion during last Sunday’s game. He is listed as questionable against the Cardinals. He will have his final evaluation on Saturday.
- WR Mario Manningham is out for the season with a knee injury. This should finally give rookie WR A.J. Jenkins an opportunity to get some balls thrown his way. The 49ers are getting thin at the WR position and Randy Moss will need to step up his role from here on out.
- WR Michael Crabtree needs 67 yards against the Cardinals to become the 49ers’ first 1,000 yard receiver since 2003.
- 49ers promoted DL Tony Jerod-Eddie from the practice squad to the 53 man roster to replace Justin Smith. Harbaugh expects him to be active on Sunday.
- The NFL announced this week that the 49ers will be sending 9 players to the 2013 Pro Bowl, 7 of which are starters. This is the most of any team in the league.
- There has been some speculation this week that the Cardinals could be interested in 49ers QB Alex Smith. This is of course all speculation but it likely has some merit. The Cardinals are in desperate need of a good QB and the 49ers are going to have to do something with Alex in the offseason. Former 49ers and current Cardinals G Adam Snyder said this week he would welcome Smith.
- The 49ers are 11-0-1 against division opponents in their last 11 home games.