49ers news: Not having Trent Williams, George Kittle vs. Colts is a problem
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers are already going to be without George Kittle versus the Colts in Week 7, and there’s a strong chance Trent Williams misses the game, too.
Well, so much for the San Francisco 49ers taking full advantage of the Week 6 bye to heal up and get healthy for a would-be much-needed win over the Indianapolis Colts this upcoming Sunday.
The Niners, who already lost All-Pro tight end George Kittle to injured reserve because of a calf injury, are potentially going to be without another one of their star players for the game, Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, who suffered an ankle injury during practice this week and subsequently was listed as day-to-day.
Just after Friday’s practices ahead of the prime-time football contest, San Francisco officially listed Williams as doubtful, meaning there’s a 25-percent chance he plays in the game.
Considering heavy rain and winds are likely to impact the game Sunday night, the long-term approach would likely be to keep Williams out of the game anyway.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan provided some updates on Williams and his potential of being out:
"We didn’t think it was as bad as it obviously is because he was able to finish that game and everything. But he re-zinged it a little bit at practice on Monday and hasn’t been able to go since. But Trent, out of anybody in this team, will take up all the way to game time so that’s why he’s still there."
49ers run game vs. Colts will miss Trent Williams, George Kittle
Kittle, who already missed Week 5’s contest against the Arizona Cardinals, won’t be eligible to return until Week 9 at the soonest, the current IR requirements mandating missing at least three games.
Williams’ status doesn’t likely look IR-worthy, which is good. But the rain and wet field at Levi’s Stadium surely puts his chances for starting the game in doubt. If Williams can’t go, rookie swing tackle Jaylon Moore likely gets the start at left tackle.
An obvious downgrade.
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The weather will also play a role in determining how both teams prepare their offenses, and it won’t be surprising to see both the 49ers and Colts rely heavily on their respective rushing attacks. Williams and Kittle, both vital pieces in the Niners’ run-blocking efforts, are going to be missed in this regard, which will make life much more difficult for rookie running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon.
Especially considering Indianapolis’ defense is allowing just 4.1 yards per carry this season, 10th best in the NFL, and linebacker Darius Leonard is one of the league’s top run-stopping defenders.
San Francisco and Indianapolis kick off Sunday Night Football on Oct. 24 at 8:20 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.