After 16 weeks of football, the 49ers and Cardinals enter the final game banged up. This is not a surprise, due to the nature of the sport, and injuries are something that all teams deal with. In this match-up it’s the 49ers that have more impact players listed as injured, and will be without the services of at least one key player. San Francisco will hope to avoid any more injuries in the season finale, as another injury could be disastrous for their playoff hopes.
The Sunday Night NFC West match-up between San Francisco and Seattle will be physical. The last time the two teams met it was deemed one of the most physical games of the season. With a lot riding on this game for both teams, the rematch figures to be just as brutal. To make matters worse, both teams are beat up, and the 49ers could be without a key player.
The Raiders once again will be without Richard Seymour. The veteran defensive tackle hasn’t played since November 4 with lingering knee and hamstring injuries. Safety Tyvon Branch is questionable with an ankle injury. For the Panthers, running back Jonathan Stewart might play for the first time since week 12. He’s been out with a high ankle sprain.
An injury report is rarely exciting, but this week 49ers should be hopeful that A.J. Jenkins may be called upon due to a (relatively) minor injury to Mario Manningham. If the rookie is not on the field at some point it will mean more snaps for Randy Moss, and indicate that Jenkins has not shown his coaches that he deserves to be playing.
Without running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, the Raiders offense will be pass heavy. Also without Richard Seymour and Shawntae Spencer, the Raiders are limited on defense. Will the healthy players be able to fill their big shoes?
The Raiders have 16 players in the injury list while the Bucs have only four. But Tampa Bay is missing left guard Carl Nicks who is a big part of the Bucs offense. Can the Raiders defense exploit his absence?
The Oakland Raiders have a bye week this time around and it is coming right when they need it. a Growing injury list including Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden, and Shawntae Spencer has the silver and black needing some R & R.
Both the Broncos and Raiders have depleted rosters, but it may be the Silver and Black that are hurt more by the injury report.
The 49ers are been lucky enough to stay healthy so far this year and may have Ted Ginn Jr. back as early as Sunday. The Vikings on the other hands have players missing on both sides of the ball and will have to upset the 49ers and do it short handed.
The Steelers have more depth and despite missing some big names like key defenders James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, but they’ll still be a tough challenge for an Oakland team which ranks near the bottom on both offense and defense.
Special teams, along with several other Silver and Black units are banged up. A struggling Miami Dolphins offer an opportunity for Oakland to get their first win, but it will be dependent on the Raiders bench stepping up in key areas.
The Week 2 injury report for both names lacked the big names that would concern the casual fan. However, the fact that so many Detroit defensive players are listed is not a good sign for a defense heading into a very physical game. There were two new names for the 49ers from Week 1 but both are expected to play on Sunday.