By Jerrell Richardson
If any team can feel sympathetic to the Houston Texans entering this game it’s the 49ers. The Texans faced the Seattle Seahawks last week, and lost both on the scoreboard and on the injury front. The Texans have seven players who have been forced to completely sit out a practice this week. While no player is ruled out for the game yet, there is no way they can withstand any type of physical contest this week. While San Francisco will look to take advantage of hurting Texans defense, they could be without a key offensive player, who will be crucial in the success of the running game this week.
San Francisco 49ers
Limited in Practice
- Nnamdi Asomugha (Cornerback): Knee
- Anthony Davis (Tackle): Shoulder
- Ray McDonald (Defensive Tackle): Ankle
- Bruce Miller (Fullback): Quadricep
- Carlos Rogers (Cornerback): Knee
- Justin Smith (Defensive Tackle): Shoulder
- Patrick Willis (Linebacker): Groin
Did Not Practice
- Quinton Patton (Wide Receiver): Foot
49ers benefit from long week
After their Thursday night game, San Francisco was given some extra days to heal up. The team has been beat up this year, and the extra rest has done the team some good. While there are still plenty of players with some sort of injury, only one’s availability is really in doubt. Unfortunately, that one player is Anthony Davis. The offensive tackle is dealing with an injured shoulder that kept on the sideline this week. If the lineman is unable to go, then the team has no true tackle to take his place. Instead it would fall to one of the back-up guards, Daniel Kilgore, Adam Synder or Joe Looney to fill Davis’s mammoth cleats.
Quinton Patton is out with a fracture foot, but there is no surprise that he is out indefinitely. With him not playing, Jon Baldwin will fill his spot and look to play his way into the starting lineup.
The 49ers are down yet another receiver and could be without an important offensive lineman. After a great performance on the ground last week, the running game figures to be a big part of the game plan this week, but without Davis, this will be difficult, especially for Frank Gore who earns most of his yards in between the hash marks. The 49ers can be optimistic though when looking at their injuries, as they can survive a game without Davis, and in Jon Baldwin have a receiver, who at least in theory can replace the production of Patton.
Limited in Practice
- Brian Cushing (Linebacker): Concussion
- Greg Jones (Running back): Foot/Groin
- Wade Smith (Guard): Knee
- J.J. Watt (Defensive End): Groin/Nose
- Bryan Braman (Linebacker): Hamstring
- Duane Brown (Tackle): Toe
- Ed Reed (Safety): Hip/Abdomen
Did Not Practice
- Brandon Brooks (Guard): Toe
- Tim Dobbins (Linebacker): Hamstring
- Darryl Sharpton (Linebacker): Foot/Hip
49ers can outmuscle Texans
The Texans are beat up. While no player has been ruled out, they are dealing with a litany of injuries that put them at a noticeable disadvantage against a physical 49er team. Of the Texans who have missed practice early in the week are the two defensive stars, Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt. While Watt is recovering from a nose and groin injury that does not figure to keep him out of the game, Cushing is another story. The linebacker is getting over a concussion and will have numerous tests to past before he is cleared to play. If Cushing is out, the Texans will have problems against the run, and if Watt sits out, they will have problems against the pass.
Even if all the Texans suit up, there is no way they are ready for another physical game, and the 49ers should be able to take advantage of their opponents health. If they will commit to the run, they will wear down their opponent and should be able to impose their will on the Houston Texans by the middle of the third quarter, and let the running game ice the win.
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.