By Jerrell Richardson
The week 1 injury report for the Packer and 49ers is short, with a grand total of just four players, and none of them starters. While both teams enter this game with no real injury concerns, the difference between the two is that the 49ers have several big names on other lists (PUP, IR and Reserve/Non Injury) not suiting up, and are clearly short handed as they take on a Packer team that will essentially have every impact player on the field Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers
- LaMichael James (Running Back)-Has not practiced this week and is out for game
- Nnamdi Asomugha (Cornerback)-Has been limited in practice and is expected to play
The bad news is that LaMichael James and Nnamdi Asomugha are on the 49ers injury report. However, the rest of the news is positive. While LaMichael James is expected to miss the game with an injured knee, Asomugha has participated in practice and should be ready to go.
Even without the presence of James, the 49ers running game should be just fine, especially as this is week 1, Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon are completely healthy and Kendall Hunter was recently activated. James’ injury does not appear to be something that will keep him out of action for too long, and he should be back very soon to round out a very potent backfield.
Considering that the 49ers are facing a pass orientated attack, Asomugha will certainly be needed, and more importantly, should answer some questions as to how good he really is. He is sporting an injured collarbone, while not pleasant, should not really hinder his ability in coverage. In terms of tackling he is a back up corner, not a safety and should only see the field when the Packers use 3 or more receivers. This will mean limited situations where his collarbone will be a problem. The San Francisco secondary will receive a huge boast if Asomugha can be half the player he was during his glory days in Oakland, but it will be a few weeks before he is healthy and able to really be evaluated.
A big name not mentioned on the injury report is Patrick Willis. The star linebacker’s broken right hand has kept him out of the entire preseason, but he is ready and itching to go for the opener.
Green Bay Packers
- Casey Hayward (Cornerback)-Has not practiced this week and is out
- Jarrett Bush (Cornerback)-Has been limited in practice and is expected to play.
The Packers did an excellent job managing the preseason and enter week 1 as healthy as they could hope to be. Like the 49ers, they have only two players on the injury report, and also expect one to play and one to sit. Even down one player, Green Bay is sitting pretty as Casey Hawyard and Jarrett Bush both backup right cornerback Sam Shields. There is the chance that Shields is injured, but even then the Packers have plenty of bodies who can cover the position for one game.
Injuries can derail any team’s season, and with playoff aspirations for both teams, the biggest goal of the Packers and the 49ers, has to be leaving the game as healthy as they entered. If the 49ers can simply hold the fort, reinforcements are on the way, as they have several impact players on both sides of the ball slated to return sooner rather then later. These players include Chris Culliver, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Marcus Lattimore and Eric Wright. So while the injury report may only list two names for the 49ers, San Francisco will be without 6 players who before this season is over, will be a major contributor to this team, while even when considering their other lists, the Packers will be at full strength.
For more news and updates, visit 49ers Central.
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. Jerrell is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.