By Sam McPherson
The New York Jets come to Levi’s Stadium on Sunday to face the San Francisco 49ers, and the good news for the 1-11 49ers is that the team has few injury questions heading into what might be its most winnable game left on the 2016 regular-season schedule. Just three players are on San Francisco’s official injury report, although two of them are key players.READ MORE: Future Of Lake Tahoe's Clarity In Question As Wildfires Worsen
On the defensive side, both tackle Quinton Dial and linebacker Aaron Lynch are questionable, while the biggest issue is offensive tackle Joe Staley. The longtime OL stalwart hasn’t missed a game since the 2010 season, but it doesn’t look good for Sunday right now.
92 Straight Games For Staley
After missing the final seven games of the 2010 season, Staley has started 92 straight games for the San Francisco organization. In all, he has started every NFL game he’s played in since the 49ers drafted him out of Central Michigan in 2007, missing seven games in both 2009 and 2010. Overall, that’s 142 starts for Staley since he entered the league.
However, his hamstring injury has prevented him from working out at all this week. He wasn’t on the field for Wednesday’s workouts, and on Thursday and Friday, Staley did not participate in practice. He is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game, and that will be a blow to an offense that needs all the help it can get after struggling so much in Chicago last weekend.
Same Old, Same Old For DefenseREAD MORE: Report: More Than 5,200 Afghan Evacuees To Be Resettled In California
Both Dial (elbow) and Lynch (ankle) have been battling their injuries for awhile, so the 49ers defense is used to coping with their questionable status right now. Dial sat out Wednesday’s workouts before being limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, while Lynch was a limited participant in workouts all three days.
Although Dial missed the Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, he played last week against the Bears, registering one tackle. He is more likely to play than Lynch, who hasn’t seen the field since Week 7 against Tampa Bay. The S.F. organization has no real need to push Lynch into game action, as this season is turning into a lost season for him between his four-game suspension and this lingering ankle issue.
Jets Defense Walking But Wounded
New York doesn’t have a great defense this year: It’s ranked just 24th in the NFL while giving up 25.6 points per game. But the Jets have five defensive players listed as questionable for this weekend’s game at Levi’s Stadium, including safety Calvin Pryor (concussion) and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle). Pryor missed last week’s game, and he has not been cleared by the NFL yet, although Wilkerson played last week against Indianapolis and made seven total tackles.
The three other players on the Jets defense listed as questionable are safety Antonio Allen (concussion), linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle) and defensive tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring) . If both Allen and Pryor are unavailable, this could mean a big game is in store for S.F. tight end Vance McDonald, assuming quarterback Colin Kaepernick can get him the ball.
Quinton Dial, defensive tackle (elbow)
Aaron Lynch, linebacker (ankle)
Joe Staley, offensive tackle (hamstring)