49ers injury news
The San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff and front office have decided to leave nothing to chance by sitting all injured veterans for the team’s final game of the 2018 regular season. The vast majority of the 49ers’ injuries from Week 16 came on the offensive side of the ball, where the team has struggled to keep players on the field throughout the year.
San Francisco enters Sunday’s matchup with a skeleton crew of starters on offense, including a third-string quarterback, a fourth-string running back, and fourth, fifth and potentially sixth-string wide receivers — along with stud tight end George Kittle. After providing the 49ers with nearly all of their passing yardage and their lone touchdown score the last time these two teams met, Kittle should expect some extra focus from the Rams’ defense in Week 17.
Earlier in the week, we learned that running back Matt Breida‘s season was ending early after the 49ers’ top RB sustained yet another ankle injury early in last week’s game. Rookie running back Jeff Wilson will start in Breida’s place and will look to rebound from a series of lackluster performances in recent weeks. Wilson will also focus on holding on to the ball, which has been a problem for the young runner both this season and throughout his college career.
The Niners will be forced to play without their top wide receivers on Sunday, as rookie wideout Dante Pettis suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 16. On Friday, fellow wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was a late scratch for this weekend’s game due to a calf injury. San Francisco’s No. 1 wideout from 2017 was a major disappointment in 2018, and will finish the season with just 23 receptions for 395 receiving yards.
With backup tight end Garrett Celek also shut down for the Niners’ final game, “Celek Time” maybe have finally struck midnight for the former undrafted free agent. Celek is due over $2.7 million in 2019, which is a hefty price to pay for a player who recorded just five receptions in 277 offensive snaps this season. Rookie TE Ross Dwelley should see more work in Celek’s absence.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tarvarius Moore is questionable for the Rams game after the defensive back missed practice for most of the week with a shoulder injury. Moore struggled at cornerback against Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson last week, although the first-time starter nearly saved the day by forcing a fumble in the closing minutes of the game. Look for the rookie to fight through his shoulder injury, as the converted safety desperately needs reps at his new position.
49ers injury news will be updated throughout the weekend, as additional information becomes available.