By Jerrell Richardson
The injury report for this week’s game between the Rams and 49ers has a ton of names on it, but few player will miss the game. Hidden in the long list of names on probable are two players on the Rams side that could have an impact on the outcome of the game. The injury report is a bit misleading though as it’s San Francisco as the team who will enter the game needing to fill some holes due to recent injuries, and will be without a major part of their running game, which is a large part of the teams success.
Two Big Names Missing
The big names of the San Francisco report all had full participation in practice on Friday and will be as close to 100% as possible at this time of the year. The only impact player who was even limited in practice was Aldon Smith, and with a hurt shoulder he will be his dominant self. The only two players who will miss the game are not a major part of the game plan and their absences will not have a profound impact on the scoreboard. There are two players who will be very much missed though and that’s Kendall Hunter and Kyle Williams, who’s names are not on the list as their injuries were severe enough to mean they are both done for the year.
Kyle Williams made an occasional appearance in the passing game, and despite his performance last season’s game against the New York Giants in the play-offs, he gave the team another option in the return game. In fact he was asked on last week to take over for Ted Ginn Jr. who had an easlry costly turnover. The good news for the 49ers is that the multi-talented receiver provided depth more then anything else, and should be able to make up for his not being on the field. The same can not be said for Kendall Hunter. San Francisco is the top rushing team in the league, and Frank Gore is the main reason, but Kendall Hunter was running a very close second.
Who Will Step In?
With Hunter out someone else will be needed to help Gore and the offense remain its rushing dominance. They two likely candidates will be Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James,two players who have had limited to no action this year. Jacobs has been itching to play, so he figures to get a chance this week to show what he can do. Its James who most likely resembles the change of pace that Hunter provides, and if ready to play should eventually step almost completey in Hunter’s shoes, unless Jacobs proves worthy of a bigger load. It will be interested to see whom Harbaugh turns to fill the void, or if he just relies on Gore to carry the team the rest of the way. The team also has Anthony Dixon who can provide some relief as needed.
Rams Running Game and Passing Attack Banged Up
The Rams will be in trouble if wide receiver Danny Amendola is unable to go. He was a large part of the teams success the last time these two played and in the teams success this season. He is quarterback Sam Bradford’s number one target, and if unable to play will make it even more difficult for Bradford. Amendola did not practice all week and is doubtful, but will test his foot on game day, and it would not be a surprised to see he play in one of the more important games the Rams will have this season. Although he participated in full practice on Friday Stephen Jackson is also with a sore foot, and did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday so he is clearly not 100%.
San Francisco Will Rely On Depth
San Francisco’s injury list continues to grow, but they still have the majority of the players on the report playing, and have no real significant players listed as out. Part of this is due to the season ending injurys that are not reflected, but they also have a deep team and will see if other players will pick up the slack where needed. The main concern has to be the running game, and the good news is that San Francisco has plenty of other backs in their stable, and should be just fine.
San Francisco 49ers
*Tight End/Defensive Tackle: Demarcus Dobbs—Not injury related
*Safety: Darcel McBath—Concussion
*Tight End: Delanie Walker—Hip, ribs
*Kicker: David Akers—Pelvis
*Cornerback: Tarell Brown—Knee
*Tackle: Anthony Davis—Finger
*Linebacker: Tavares Gooden—Elbow, quadricep
*Running Back: Frank Gore—Ribs, wrist
*Wide Receiver: Mario Manningham—Shoulder
*Safety: Donte Witner—Knee
*Linebacker: Patrick Willis—Shoulder
*Safety: Dashon Goldson—Ribs, Calf
*Linebacker: Aldon Smith—Shoulder
St. Louis Rams
*Linebacker: Mario Haggan—Elbow
*Wide Receiver: Danny Amendola—Foot
*Defensive End: Robert Quinn—Concussion
*Center: Scott Wells—Knee
*Tackle: Barry Richardson—Knee
*Running back: Stephen Jackson—Foot
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest 49er news, see CBS Sports San Francisco.
Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. His work can be found on Examiner.com.