By Sam McPherson
The beleaguered San Francisco 49ers defense gets no respite in Week 10 as it prepares to face the potent offense of the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The 49ers have at least three players listed as questionable for the game, and once again, pass-rushing linebacker Aaron Lynch will miss the contest as well.READ MORE: With COVID Cases Rising, Masks Now Required Indoors Regardles of Vaccination Status In Bay Area
San Francisco is ranked dead last among NFL teams in both scoring defense and yards allowed. While the injuries pile up this year, the 49ers have been defenseless against a steady stream of offenses on the schedule, and this weekend sadly promises to be more of the same.
Defensive Injuries Taking Their Toll
With Lynch unable to practice this week again due to ongoing issues from a concussion suffered in Week 7, the San Francisco defense still is suffering in the front seven. It’s hard to remember what this defense looked like a few years ago with both NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis roaming the field.
LB Nick Bellore (shoulder) was only a limited participant in practice this week up until Friday, further weakening the defense’s outlook for the Cardinals game. Defensive tackles Quinton Dial (knee/neck) and Glenn Dorsey (knee) both were unable to practice fully this week until Friday as well, and they could suffer setbacks on any play. Both Dial and Dorsey played last week against New Orleans, registering four and seven tackles, respectively. Hopefully, they can replicate those efforts against Arizona.
In the secondary, both safety Eric Reid (knee) and cornerback Rashard Robinson (back) didn’t practice on Wednesday, although they were able to take the field for a little bit on Thursday. Reid had five tackles against the Saints in Week 9 and was a full participant on Friday, but Robinson hasn’t played since Week 7 against Tampa Bay.
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Running back Carlos Hyde (shoulder) hasn’t played since Week 6 against Buffalo, and he was limited in workouts on both Wednesday and Thursday. Even though the 49ers had their best offensive game of the season last week without Hyde in the game, the 49ers still would rather have Hyde on the field. However, he is questionable for Sunday.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith (knee) was limited this week, too, although he’s played in every game this season. He has just 15 receptions in eight games this year, and Smith has been marginalized as an offensive weapon by San Francisco’s inconsistent quarterback play. Smith should play on Sunday, despite the partial practices and questionable tag.
Finally, center Daniel Kilgore, who has started all eight games this year, has a hamstring injury that kept him from full participation this week in workouts. Needless to say against Arizona’s stingy defense, the 49ers will need all the help they can get up front against the Cardinals in Week 10. He is expected to start again the Cardinals.
Cardinals Looking Healthy After Bye
Arizona is coming off its bye week, so the Cardinals have limited injury concerns right now. Of the most important to this game, both wide receivers John Brown (hamstring) and Larry Fitzgerald (ankle) are probable for Sunday’s match-up with San Francisco, and that’s bad news for the 49ers, of course.
Fitzgerald is one of the best WRs in NFL history, and he has accumulated more yardage and TDs against San Francisco than any other NFL team in his career.
Carlos Hyde, running back (shoulder)
Rashard Robinson, cornerback (back)
Torrey Smith, wide receiver (knee)
Aaron Lynch, linebacker (concussion)