49ers Continue To Heal Up And Falcons Will Have Every Starter For Monday Night Showdown
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By Jerrell Richardson
For the second time in as many weeks, the 49ers entire 53-man roster practiced. The difference this week is that the team has gone from 13 players dealing with various injuries last week to 9. Atlanta has the shorter list of the two though and they did not have a single starter in jeopardy of sitting out. In fact their only significant name dealing with an injury is Tony Gonzalez who will not see a bad toe affect his ability to chaos havoc. In the final game played at Candlestick Park there will be no excuses on either sideline, meaning the winner will be the team that plays the best, not the one who is the least injured.
If not for the injury to Bruce Miller last week, San Francisco would not only be completely healthy, but for the first time this season have all 11 of the team’s projected offensive starting lineup on the field. While they don’t figure to get everyone on the field at the same time this regular season, the fact remains that San Francisco continues to get healthier and will be full strength for their regular season home finale.
All 49ers On Deck
While NaVorro Bowman’s name is new, the linebacker is getting over a minor wrist injury that will do nothing to stop him from being a dominant force in the middle of the field. Out of the other names, the only other one who will is still a question mark is offensive guard Mike Iupati who has been out several weeks while he gets over his knee injury. As has been the case in the past, the team can do with Iupati and will only play him only in an emergency. There is no reason to rush him back as the team continues to win in his absence.
Mario Manningham has been getting over a knee injury the past few weeks, and with the injury to fullback Bruce Miller, the team will have to use more 3 wide receiver sets this week. Like the 49ers team in general, Manningham has gradually gotten better each week. With his fellow wide outs Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin already playing at a high level, and going against a less then spectacular Falcons secondary, Manningham should be able to give the team just enough when he is on the field.
The rest of the 49ers are healthy, despite the injury report saying otherwise. Frank Gore and Justin Smith are veterans who just need rest while Crabtree, Tarell Brown and Dan Skuta all played well last week while dealing with the same injuries that put them on the injury report this week.
San Francisco 49ers
Limited In Practice
*Frank Gore (Running Back): Ankle, Knee
*Mike Iupati (Guard): Knee
*Mario Manningham (Wide Receiver): Knee
*Vance McDonald (Tight End): Ankle
*Dan Skuta (Linebacker): Foot
Full Participation In Practice
*NaVorro Bowman (Linebacker): Wrist
*Tarell Brown (Cornerback): Ribs
*Michael Crabtree (Wide Receiver): Ankle, wrist
*Justin Smith (Defensive Tackle): Shoulder
Falcons Even Healthier Than 49ers
Atlanta has an offensive and defensive starter on their injury report, but safety Thomas DeCoud has been able to participate in all team activities as he gets over a concussion and tight end Tony Gonzalez’s toe injury will not keep him off the field. Gonzalez is the Falcons number one passing option, but his game is not about speed and his toe will do nothing to make the job of covering him easier. DeCoud has been able to practice in all activities this week and will be ready Monday.
The other 4 Falcons listed are 3rd stringers and or backups that would not play a role in thier team’s game plan. Whether or not they play will not slow down Atlanta, or hurt their chances of getting a win.
Did Not Participate In Practice
*Darius Johnson (Wide Receiver): Ankle
*Zeke Motta (Safety): Hand, neck
*Sean Weatherspoon (Linebacker): Knee
Limited In Practice
*Antone Smith (Running back): Knee
*Tony Gonzalez (Tight End): Toe
Full Participation In Practice
*Thomas DeCoud (Safety): Concussion
No Advantages Gained By Injuries
While they are going to be without Bruce Miller, every other player will be ready to go for the 49ers. The same came be said on the other side of the ball where they might be without a few players, but none that are starters, and names that did no figure to be called on Monday anyways. As they are the better team, going into this game just as healthy as their opponent is just another advantage for a 49er team trying to send off Candlestick Park in style.
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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.