San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Biderman’s five players to watch
The 49ers’ banged up offensive line was a group of early risers this week ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
Tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, along with center Weston Richburg and Mike Person, met at the team’s facility before 6 a.m. each day to rehab their nagging injuries.
Left guard Laken Tomlinson, the only member of the starting offensive line that hasn’t been on the injury report in recent weeks, even joked that he needed early morning treatment to feel like part of the group.
“Even (Friday) morning, he came in and was like, ‘I feel like I’m going to get some treatment to hang out with my guys,’” Staley said with a laugh. “We’re like, ‘Alright, get in here.’”
The jovial Staley returned to practice Friday after injuring his right knee in the second quarter against the Chargers. Richburg and McGlinchey returned a day earlier after also dealing with knee injuries in the first half of the 29-27 defeat. Person has been dealing with foot and knee injuries since the season opener. Staley, McGlinchey and Richburg are listed as questionable against Arizona.
“All of them, the fact that they were out there (practicing), it’ll give them a chance to go on Sunday,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We’ll see how they feel then. Hopefully they’ll feel two days better than they were today.”
The 49ers will decide on receiver Marquise Goodwin just before Sunday’s game. He left the loss in L.A. with hamstring and quad injuries and was tabbed “50-50” to play by Shanahan. Rookie receiver Dante Pettis was San Francisco’s only player to be ruled out after suffering a knee injury during a first-half punt return against the Chargers.
The 49ers also got some good news regarding cornerback Richard Sherman, who practiced for the second straight day on Friday and appears on track to play Sunday after being slowed by a left calf strain Sept. 23 against the Chiefs.
However, the oft-injured Jimmie Ward suffered another hamstring injury late during Thursday’s practice and is listed as questionable. Ward was part of the cornerback rotation with Greg Mabin and Ahkello Witherspoon during last week’s game.
Additionally, running back Matt Breida is listed as questionable after suffering a shoulder injury against the Cardinals. But he appears in line to play Sunday after practicing all three days this week in a blue non-contact jersey.
Breida, who has 313 yards this season, leads the NFL averaging 7.6 yards per carry, but dropped from first to third on the NFL rushing leaderboard this week, behind Ezekiel Elliott (426) and Todd Gurley (338).
Boost in the secondary – Starting safeties Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) and Adrian Colbert (hip) are both expected back in the lineup and close to full strength for the first time since Week 2. They both returned to practice this week and weren’t listed on the status report ahead of Sunday’s game.
Their injuries forced San Francisco to start Antone Exum Jr. and rookie D.J. Reed Jr. against the Chargers. Colbert suffered his hip injury Week 3 and Tartt hasn’t played since leaving the victory over the Lions the week prior. He said he initially suffered the injury in the opener against the Vikings.