By Jerrell Richardson
As a team, San Francisco is healing. Despite being out-muscled by the Colts, the only significant injury from that game was Patrick Willis injuring his groin late in the game. While only one injury is good, it’s not when considering the player, and the recent struggles of the 49ers to stop the run. Willis has not practiced this week, and while he may try to suit up, it’s more likely that he sits, which is really the best thing for both he and the team. This is an important game, but even with a loss, it’s not as though it’s the end of the world. In addition, the Rams have struggled to say the least running the ball, and if there was any team that San Francisco can afford to play without their Pro Bowl run stopper it’s St. Louis. With the Texans and Arian Foster next on the schedule, it will do more harm than good if Willis does any more damage to his groin. While this is close to a must win for the 49ers, they should sit Willis.
Nnamdi Asomugha has been unable to practice due to an injured knee and could also miss the game. His play has been solid, but at times inconsistent, and once again, when considering the opponent, the team can survive without him.
Vernon Davis has returned to practice and all signs point to him playing, after sitting out last week. Davis will be the biggest loss for San Francisco if unable to play, as the offense needs as many playmakers as possible on the field, and Davis is the only receiver with any chemistry with Colin Kaepernick. If Davis does not play, it will all fall on the running game to move the ball. Willis’ possible absence can’t be ignored, but NaVorro Bowman is more than capable of holding down the fort for one game.
San Francisco 49ers
Has Not Practiced
Limited In Practice
No Injury Concerns for The Rams
The only starter out for St. Louis will be tackle Rodger Saffold. Lucky for the Rams they have an effective backup in Joe Barksdale. The third year player has not earned a starting role yet, but was asked to fill in last year and did extremely well. Defensive end William Hayes will also be out, but he is a backup, and didn’t figure to have his name called too much Thursday night anyways. The Rams have a few banged up players but will have everyone else ready to go, and will look to take advantage of a hobbled 49er team.
St. Louis Rams
Has Not Practiced
Vernon Davis Will Be Missed the Most if Unable to Play
The health of San Francisco has hurt them to start this season, but they are slowly getting better. They are down to three players with any real injuries, and all could play if they have to. However, this is a game (and a team) in which the 49ers can try to rest up Willis and Asomugha before hitting the meat of the 2013 schedule, but Davis MUST play.
For more 49ers 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.