The injury report this week for the San Francisco 49ers is the longest of the season as the team heads into their showdown against the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco will need all hands on deck in their attempt to win the NFC West division for the second straight season. The 49ers already have clinched a playoff spot, but a win gives them the title of division champions. A Niners win, plus a loss by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday will clinch a first-round bye for San Francisco. With all of the injuries suffered over the past few weeks, a bye in the playoffs is crucial.
The two biggest questions marks for San Francisco on the injury report are tight end Vernon Davis and defensive tackle Justin Smith. Davis missed practice on Wednesday, and was limited on Thursday and Friday because of a concussion. The tight end suffered the concussion in the loss to the Seahawks last week and is listed as questionable. Even though Davis was on the field at practice on Friday, he wore a black non-contact jersey indicating we will unlikely play.
The 49ers offense will already be without receiver Mario Manningham who is out for the season with a knee injury, in addition to Kyle Williams. So Colin Kaepernick will have limited passing options in the game on Sunday and in the playoffs. This week Jim Harbaugh did say Davis was “on course” to play, but the head coach has downplayed injuries in the past. Davis will also be missed in the running game because of his great blocking and ability to open up rushing lanes. Fellow tight end Delaine Walker will be tasked with filling in for Davis as the starter. Walker has 19 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
Vernon Davis on playing Sunday:
I feel all right. I’m thinking I’ve got to be ready for this game, that’s how I’m approaching it. I don’t like sitting back and watching everybody play. I like to get out there and play, because that’s what I love to do. I love playing football.
Another player determined to go against the Cardinals, but will likely miss the game, is Justin Smith. He is a on the injury report as questionable, but he will not play against Arizona. The defensive tackle has missed practiced all week with a partial triceps tear. Smith suffered the injury three weeks ago when a bone spur detached in his elbow when he partially tore his left triceps. The injury typically takes 12 weeks to recover, but Smith said he wants to play if the 49ers are in the Wild Card round next week.
The 49ers defense will not be the same without Justin on the defensive line. All you need to do is look at the how the D was steamrolled against the Patriots and Seahawks to see how much he will be missed. His biggest contribution is gobbling up offensive linemen that allow Aldon Smith to use his stunt moves and quickness to disrupt the quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals will look to exploit this to their advantage on Sunday.
Full Injury Report:
Week 17: 49ers vs. Cardinals
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS INJURY REPORT
ARIZONA CARDINALS INJURY REPORT
DNP = Did not participate in practice
LP = Limited participation in practice
FP = Full participation
Full Participation = 100% of a player’s normal repititions
Limited Participation = Less than 100% of a player’s normal repititions
Out = Player will not play
Doubtful = 25% chance a player will play
Questionable = 50% chance a player will play
Probable = 75% chance a player will play