Opponent: at St. Louis
Time: 10 a.m.
Line: Rams by 8
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Records: 49ers 2-5, Rams 3-3
TV/Radio: Ch. 40 (Dick Stockton, David Diehl), 680, 1320
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Kap-tain hook? The 49ers may consider a change at quarterback after their Nov. 15 bye week, a time when teams tend to make their biggest roster moves. But that won’t happen if Colin Kaepernick plays well in the next two games. His toughest test will be Sunday inside the Rams’ loud – through not entirely packed – dome and against a defense that has 23 sacks, tied for second best in the NFL.
Hyde and seek? The 49ers said Friday workhorse running back Carlos Hyde would miss Sunday’s game due to the stress fracture in his left foot. He’s apparently played with the injury for two games. The 49ers likely will go with Mike Davis, Reggie Bush and Kendall Gaskins, a practice squad player added when Jarryd Hayne was waived Saturday. Davis got all of the carries when Hyde was being checked for a concussion during the second half against Pittsburgh in Week 2, although Bush was injured for that game.
Big game from Brooks? One of the criticisms of linebacker Ahmad Brooks last season was he didn’t rise to the occasion when counterpart Aldon Smith missed nine games due to a suspension. The team needs him to step forward Sunday against the Rams, whose offensive line has allowed only 11 sacks. If that happens, the 49ers would have a pair of solid bookends in Brooks and Aaron Lynch.
The Gurley Show: The 49ers’ defense, which has been outstanding against the run in recent years, is 20th this season. And it may be worse than that since some opponents decided the 49ers’ pass defense was even easier to exploit and didn’t run much. This week, the defense takes on rookie Todd Gurley, who rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday’s win over the Browns and who had the home crowd so fired up coach Jeff Fisher had to ask them to tone it down.
A Bush push? The 49ers’ special-teams coordinator indicated Reggie Bush would continue to return punts like he did against the Seahawks in the 49ers’ last game. That seems risky, considering the veteran runner has been injury prone this season. And beyond Bush, the 49ers have no reliable depth at running back after starter Hyde – who has a stress fracture in his foot.
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Out: RB Carlos Hyde (foot)
Questionable: WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring)
Probable: G Alex Boone (shoulder, knee), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), DT Tony Jerod-Eddie (not injury related), QB Colin Kaepernick (right hand), T Erik Pears (back), S Eric Reid (chest), T Joe Staley (shoulder)
Out: DE Chris Long (knee)
Questionable: DE William Hayes (thigh), RB Tre Mason (ankle), S T.J. McDonald (shoulder), DE Robert Quinn (knee)
Probable: DT Nick Fairley (illness), TE Lance Kendricks (thumb), LB James Laurinaitis (elbow)
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vs. St. Louis