By Sam McPherson
As the 0-8 San Francisco 49ers prepare for their Sunday matchup at Levi’s Stadium, they are doing so without the services of seven players that have been ruled out for the Week 9 game against the Arizona Cardinals. However, linebacker Reuben Foster is not one of them; he is questionable for Sunday with his ankle and rib injuries.
The offense and the defense will both suffer from the unavailability of the seven players, which include offensive tackle Joe Staley (eye), wide receiver Pierre Garçon (neck) and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (knee). The Cardinals are 3-4 and beatable, but it will be tough for the 49ers to win their first game of the year without this key trio of players.
Staley out until Week 12 at least, Garçon on IR
The San Francisco lineman didn’t miss a game from 2011-2015, and he appeared in five straight Pro Bowls during those same campaigns. But he suffered a fractured orbital bone last week in Philadelphia and will now miss a few games healing from the injury. Meanwhile, Garçon—who leads the team with 40 receptions—suffered a neck injury last week and was placed on injured reserve.
Offensive tackle Gary Gilliam is also out this Sunday, thanks to a knee injury. He has been placed on injured reserve as well. Gilliam started just one of the first eight games this year, but with Staley out, the depth he provides on the O-line will be greatly missed. That will affect the play of the 49ers quarterbacks, including new acquisition Jimmy Garoppolo, if he plays.
Thomas has low-grade MCL sprain, out a few weeks
The 49ers’ top draft pick this spring, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, has registered 26 tackles and two sacks this season, but he will now miss a few games with a knee injury. Two other defensive linemen, D.J. Jones (knee) and Aaron Lynch (calf), will miss the Arizona game, too, meaning S.F. could have trouble pressuring new Cardinals starting quarterback Drew Stanton.
If Foster can play after limited workouts this week, it will be a big boost to the 49ers defense, which seems to play better at home. Arizona has its own injury problems, having lost both its Opening Day starting running back and quarterback now.
Arizona has a few key players listed as questionable for Sunday
Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby (finger, hamstrong) was unable to workout on Wednesday and Thursday for Arizona, and he was a limited participant in Friday practices. Meanwhile, RB Andre Ellington is fighting a quadricep problem as he was limited in all three practices this week. Both are listed as questionable, along with WR Brittain Golden (groin), DL Frostee Rucker (knee, hip) and WR Chad Williams (back).
Center Daniel Munyer (toe) is out for Sunday’s game in Santa Clara, as are RB David Johnson (wrist) and QB Carson Palmer (arm).
- (LB) Reuben Foster (Ankle, Ribs) — Limited Participation In Practice
- (WR) Pierre Garçon (Neck) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (OT) Gary Gilliam (Knee) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (DL) D.J. Jones (Knee) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (DL) Aaron Lynch (Calf) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (OT) Joe Staley (Eye) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (DL) Solomon Thomas (Knee) — Unable to Participate In Practice
- (CB) K’Waun Williams (Quadricep) — Unable to Participate In Practice