San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants: Chris Biderman’s five players to watch
The 49ers will be without receiver Pierre Garçon, linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Jaquiski Tartt when they host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, the team announced Saturday. All three players missed the week of practice.
The rest of the team is healthy after last playing on a Thursday night Nov. 1 against the Raiders, giving them 11 days between games. That includes tight end George Kittle and center Weston Richburg, who were dealing with chest and knee injuries, respectively. No players are listed as questionable.
“It’s a very fine line, because we’ve been waiting for a long time to get a chance to recover and guys really needed it. And it’ll help us,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said.
Garçon will be out with a knee injury that’s been bothering him in recent weeks, despite playing in the blowout victory over Oakland and logging three catches for 56 yards, including his first touchdown since joining San Francisco in 2017.
Foster will be sidelined for the second straight week after sustaining a hamstring late in the first half of the loss to the Arizona Cardinals Oct. 28. He’ll be replaced by Malcolm Smith at “Will” linebacker, who was in and out of the Raiders game while dealing with an undisclosed injury. But Smith wasn’t listed on the injury report this week.
Tartt aggravated his shoulder injury that he has been dealing with since the season opener against Minnesota. Monday will mark the fourth game he’s missed this season after sitting out Weeks 3 and 4 before he was sidelined last game.
The 49ers could replace Tartt again with Tyvis Powell, who spent the offseason playing cornerback before switching to safety before the third preseason game. Rookie sixth-round pick Marcell Harris has also been worked back into the fold after beginning the season injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
The team also got Antone Exum Jr. back this week after suffering a concussion in Arizona. He didn’t play against Oakland and worked as Tartt’s replacement earlier in the season.
The Giants, who are coming off their bye week, didn’t have any players listed on the injury report.
Despite those three players being ruled out for Monday, Shanahan said his team benefited from getting the weekend off from football after the Raiders the game – and it should benefit from having the bye week following the game against New York.
But the air quality at the team’s practice facility has been an issue this week. Smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County roughly 230 miles northeast of Santa Clara, could affect Monday night’s game if it worsens.
The team had to move up practice on Friday to avoid worsening conditions in the afternoon. Conditions improved slightly on Saturday, though the Air Quality Index (AQI) was still listed at 170, which is considered “unhealthy.”
“It affected us because when we changed the practice time we had to cut stuff out,” Shanahan said. “We were afraid the air quality was going to get worse as the day went, so we cut out some of our individual time, routes on air, things like that and just tried to get to the plays. It didn’t change the schedule a ton, but definitely made it a little different.”