While it’s hard to tell, the 49ers are slowly getting healthier. The long list of names on their injured report remains, but nothing to be alarmed about for the time being. St. Louis on the other hand is as healthy as can be heading into this pivotal game to stay out of the NFC West cellar.
With the 49ers sputtering out to a 1-2 start in 2013, everyone is trying to figure out what is wrong with the team many had picked to be the NFC representative in the Super bowl. While most theories are around the offense that has failed to put up points, the real concern is a 49ers defense that is running out of bodies.
At first glance it seems that the Packers and 49ers will both be at full strength for the match up Sunday. However, San Francisco will be without several players and will need to hold the fort until they get back their full roster.
Patrick Willis has had surgery on his fractured right hand. The San Francisco 49ers’ inside linebacker sustained the injury late last week at training camp.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis is out for the time being after X-rays showed Thursday he has a slightly-fractured right hand. Meantime, trainers carted cornerback Chris Culliver off the field with an apparent left knee injury.
Patrick Willis has agreed to restructure his current contract to free up money for the Niners’ efforts to sign their 2013 NFL draft picks, a move that will reportedly shave $1.2 million off of the 49ers’ salary cap.
Two of the league’s most imposing inside linebackers both happen to wear No. 52. Aside from the number, Lewis and Willis are as different as they come. Lewis is emotional, loud and brash. Willis is soft-spoken and happy to stay behind the scenes.
The San Francisco 49ers have started practicing for the Super Bowl surrounded by tight security and a lot of autograph-seeking fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes even though the practice field is closed to the public.
There are a lot of things that will be needed to slow down the Atlanta Falcons offense in the NFC Championship Game. The 49er secondary will have their hands full chasing Roddy White and Julio Jones around, but the key match-up is going to be NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis vs. Tony Gonzalez. There is no doubt that Gonzalez is the greatest ever at the tight end position, but this is a match up that San Francisco can win.
Defense wins championships. But these days it’s a certain kind of defense. Check out our NFC all-pro defense to see who excels.