By Sam McPherson
It’s a strange and fortunate coincidence that the San Francisco 49ers get to end their 2017 regular season in Los Angeles with a healthy roster. The team is going for its fifth straight victory, and since the Rams have already clinched a postseason berth by virtue of winning the NFC West Division for the first time since 2003, the 49ers have an excellent opportunity in front of them.
The official injury report on Friday left no designation whatsoever for any player on the active roster, meaning Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has a full roster at his disposal for this game, and the S.F. players definitely want to win in Los Angeles for the second year in a row. Four players were limited in Friday practice, but that is not expected to affect their game status on Sunday.
Several receivers get lighter workouts this week
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is already a legend in the Bay Area for his 4-0 start to his 49ers career. However, some of his targets are currently nursing injuries, and that could affect Garoppolo’s ability to throw downfield efficiently on Sunday in Los Angeles. All three players below are expected to play on Sunday, despite being limited in workouts all week long.
Tight end Garrett Celek (knee, ribs) has caught a touchdown each of the last two games, proving himself to be one of Garoppolo’s favorite targets. Wide receivers Marquise Goodwin (back) and Trent Taylor (shoulder) look to start in 2018, and both would like to finish 2017 on a high note as well. Goodwin has averaged 89 yards receiving over the last four games with Garoppolo at QB, while Taylor has 15 receptions over the same time frame.
Colbert only defensive player limited in practice
On the other side of the ball, safety Adrian Colbert (shoulder) also experienced a lighter workload in practice this week, but he is ready and available for the Rams matchup. He has 29 total tackles this season, and Colbert just missed snaring his first interception of the season last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. His teammates more than made up for his missed opportunity, however, intercepting Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles three times total.
Rams might rest Barron, Kupp and others
Los Angeles currently occupies the No. 3 spot in the NFC playoff hierarchy, and with No. 2 Minnesota hosting five-win Chicago, it’s unlikely the Rams will be able to move up and claim a postseason bye. It might even be to Los Angeles’ benefit to drop into the No. 4 spot, but either way, the Rams do not have much to play for on Sunday—other than pride and momentum, which are important nonetheless.
Safety Mark Barron (Achilles) didn’t practice this week, and he is out for the 49ers matchup, while WR Cooper Kupp (knee) missed workouts on Wednesday and Thursday before participating in a limited fashion in Friday drills. He is listed as questionable, but as a key part of the Rams passing game, Kupp probably will be held out on the game on Sunday in order to keep the L.A. roster healthier for the playoffs.