The San Francisco 49ers find themselves at the No. 5 overall seed in the NFC playoff picture, meaning there’s a lot of work to do over the final four regular-season games.
In one week, the 10-2 San Francisco 49ers went from the top seed in the NFC and the leader of the NFC West all the way to the No. 5 playoff spot and second behind the also-10-2 Seattle Seahawks.
Fortunately, the playoffs don’t start this week, and head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is still in great position to climb back atop the playoff seeding between now and Week 17’s conclusion.
But there’s a good amount of work to be done.
The 49ers still have a tough schedule ahead, which includes a Week 14 road clash against the now-No. 1 seed in the conference, the 10-2 New Orleans Saints, which is followed by what could be a vital road bout against the Seahawks to wrap up the regular season.
Getting some help along the way would be nice, of course, but the Niners need to handle their own business.
That’s arguably the No. 1 item on San Francisco’s to-do list over these final four weeks. But here are 10 more items Shanahan and Co. need to check off if they hope to put themselves in the best position possible this postseason.
No. 10: Get Healthy
Like the last two seasons, the 49ers have dealt with a rash of injuries. Unlike 2017 and 2018, the Niners depth has mostly held up to overcome the numerous setbacks.
But if San Francisco wants to be in great position these final four games, a clean bill of health will be vital.
Currently, the 49ers injury report looks like this:
- RB Matt Breida (ankle)
- EDGE Dee Ford (quad, hamstring)
- WR Dante Pettis (knee)
- WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
- S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)
- DT D.J. Jones (ankle)
- WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)
- T Joe Staley (finger)
- DT Jullian Taylor (jaw)
The Niners sorely missed Ford’s pass-rushing prowess against Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson last week. And overall, Ford’s 6.5 sacks this season is a stat San Francisco would want to get back on the field.
Samuel and Sanders have been able to play, recently, while Breida has not. A healthy trio here, however, would work wonders for Shanahan’s offense.
Avoiding any further injuries would be key, too.