Heading into the San Francisco 49ers NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Niners will have an important piece in the secondary that has been missing the past two games. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, who has been battling through a hamstring injury, will be play on Sunday.
On Thursday, Rogers said on his weekly radio show on KNBR, “I’m playing”, after being asked about the hamstring injury. Another sign that Rogers will play is him participating at practice all week. Even though it was on a limited basis and he is listed as questionable, it was encouraging to see him at practice after missing the past two weeks because of the injury.
Rogers also said he will likely not start, but will play in the San Francisco’s nickel coverages. However, having him back will help the 49ers defense play man-to-man. San Francisco’s secondary is way more talented than the Seahawks mediocre receiving corps. The defense will need to have good and tight coverage on the Seahawks in order for the 49ers to be able to use four-man rushes and still provide relentless pressure on Russell Wilson. With having nowhere to throw will force Wilson to make mistakes.
I’ll be playing in the nickel. If I go down, Perrish will know what to do. But for the most part, it’s going to be me in there. ~ Rogers
Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio needs to keep Wilson in the pocket and force him to make throws from there, rather than throwing on the run on the outside which has been 49ers killer. Fangio’s defense can accomplish this if the defensive ends rush up field to keep Wilson in the pocket. This will force Wilson to throw over the line of scrimmage and combined with tight coverage, he will not have a lot of options.
Our mind is focused on something we got a taste on last year which is the Super Bowl. We’re seeking something we haven’t gotten either.
We have to go in, not turn the ball over and start fast… Once the rah-rah settles down and they have to play football like they did when they came here, you’ll see a difference. ~ Rogers
In other injury news for the Niners, fullback Will Tukuafu will likely play after being limited at practice all week. The knee injury Tukuafu sustained last week was not as bad as it looked, but don’t expect him to have a big roll on Sunday. Having Tukuafu available gives the offense more depth at fullback. With how physical the game will be between the two teams, that depth might be needed.
For the Seahawks, their main concern regarding injuries was wide receiver Percy Harvin. In Seattle’s win last week, Harvin suffered a concussion after only playing in one game this season because of other injuries. Despite Harvin not being an integral part of the Seahawks offense, not having him on the field will make defending pass a little easier. Percy has shown to be a dynamic player that always makes plays when he steps on the field.
49ers Injury Report
CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring), FB Will Tukuafu (knee)
ILB Navorro Bowman (wrist), OLB Ahmad Brooks (illness), WR Michael Crabtree (wrist), DE Damarcus Dobbs (knee, shoulder), C Jonathan Goodwin (foot), RB Frank Gore (knee), LB Dan Skuta (foot), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Seahawks Injury Report
WR Percy Harvin (concussion)
DT Jordan Hill (groin)
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), LB K.J. Wright (foot)