By Sam McPherson
As the San Francisco 49ers prepare to host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, the injury concerns remain the same. Running back Carlos Hyde didn’t workout on Thursday due to the ongoing foot problems, so the 49ers have to continue trying to win games with their no-name RB corps.
Last week against the Seattle Seahawks on the road, the San Francisco offense ran for just 59 yards, and the team won’t find the going any easier against the Cardinals this week. Although playing at Levi’s seems to give the whole team a boost, as evidenced by the 3-2 home mark versus the 0-5 road record, the Arizona defense is a good one.READ MORE: 'Lack Of Consistent Maintenance': Grand Jury Investigation Finds Davis Parks Overrun By Invasive Weeds, Clovers
The stress fracture in Hyde’s foot continues to linger, and the 49ers are basically approaching each game as if he’s not going to play—since he’s not participating in practices. Shaun Draughn has a 3.4 yards per carry average this season on 28 attempts, although he’s caught 12 passes, too. No one will mistake him for Hyde, but Draughn is a serviceable RB for now.
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman also didn’t workout on Wednesday, due to finger and shoulder issues. However, we’ve seen this before from the veteran defender, and Bowman will be on the field Sunday. He’s the second-leading tackler in the NFL this season, and he’s earned his time off during the week this season if he wants it.
Meanwhile, fellow linebacker Ahmad Brooks (concussion) is questionable for Sunday, as he works through the league’s head-injury protocol. He did not workout on Wednesday, and more information should become available later on Friday to determine his status for the Cardinals game.
In other injury news, five players were partial participants in practice on Wednesday: defensive tackle Arik Armstead (shoulder), offensive guard Alex Boone (triceps), defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie (hip), offensive tackle Erik Pears (knee) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (knee). All players are listed as questionable for Week 12.
Considering the Arizona offense is one of the best in the NFL, the defensive depth is really necessary for the 49ers to have any chance on Sunday. Tartt will play a key role in slowing down Cardinal receivers Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown, not to mention having to rein in running backs Chris Johnson and David Johnson.READ MORE: Mayor Steinberg Calls for Special Meeting To Address Questions About Councilmember Loloee‘s Home Address
Boone seems to be on the injury list every week, yet he is just like Bowman – a veteran who will be on the field every week regardless of his mention on the weekly report.
Some good news includes wide receiver Anquan Boldin; after missing three games, the team’s best WR played well against Seattle last week without re-aggravating his hamstring issue. He was a full participant in workouts on Wednesday, and Boldin is expected to start and play again on Sunday against Arizona.
Also, cornerback Keith Reaser (ankle) also was able to practice fully this week, and he too will be ready to go against the Cardinals talented receivers this weekend.
Anquan Boldin, Wide Receiver (hamstring)
NaVorro Bowman, Linebacker (finger, shoulder)
Arik Armstead, Defensive Tackle (shoulder)
Alex Boone, Offensive Guard (triceps)
Ahmad Brooks, Linebacker (concussion)
Tony Jerod-Eddie, Defensive Tackle (hip)
Erik Pears, Offensive Tackle (knee)
Jaquisky Tartt, Safety (knee)
Carlos Hyde, Running Back (foot)
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf, hockey and fantasy sports for CBS, AXS and Examiner. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach.