▪ Opponent: vs. San Diego Chargers
▪ Time: 5:25 p.m.
▪ Line: 49ers by 21/2
▪ Records: 49ers 7-7, Chargers 8-6
▪ TV/Radio: Ch. 13, NFL (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts), 680, 1320
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB COLIN KAEPERNICK
He may have halted his free fall last week in Seattle, but Kaepernick was by no means prolific. He hasn’t thrown a fourth-quarter touchdown pass this season. Doing that – or merely scoring a touchdown in the second half – has to be a priority for a team and a quarterback looking for positive momentum heading into the offseason.
WR QUINTON PATTON
Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd are scheduled to be free agents who may not be back next season. And Crabtree (knee) and Stevie Johnson (knee) are dealing with injuries heading into the game. That likely means more playing time for Patton, who hasn’t caught a pass yet this season. A solid showing would put Patton on track for a bigger role next year.
DE TANK CARRADINE
The release of defensive end Ray McDonald may not create a starting spot for Carradine, the 40th overall draft pick last year, but it will lead to more playing time. Carradine is a good pass rusher but must become more instinctual and needs practice playing the run. This game will provide a good foundation as far as competing for a starting role in the offseason.
CB PERRISH COX
The 49ers likely will choose between offering a contract extension to Cox or fellow cornerback Chris Culliver, both of whom can become free agents in the offseason. Cox has cooled after his hot start to the season but should have plenty of chances against the Chargers’ passing offense, which ranks 11th in the NFL.
WR BRUCE ELLINGTON
Like Patton, a solid showing over the last two weeks would go a long way toward a more prominent role next season. Ellington’s focus this year mainly has been as a punt returner. His grade? Maybe a C+. The rookie hasn’t had any major flubs, but his longest return is a ho-hum 23 yards.
▪ Out: LB Chris Borland (ankle), CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), RB Carlos Hyde (ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (knee)
▪ Questionable: LB Ahmad Brooks (thumb), WR Michael Crabtree (knee), T Anthony Davis (concussion), RB Frank Gore (concussion), S Raymond Ventrone (groin), LB Michael Wilhoite (hip)
▪ Probable: CB Perrish Cox (ankle), CB Chris Culliver (knee), DT Quinton Dial (knee), DE Tony Jerod-Eddie (foot), T Jonathan Martin (illness), C Marcus Martin (knee), LS Kyle Nelson (back), DE Justin Smith (back)
▪ Out: WR Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle), RB Ryan Mathews (ankle), P Mike Scifres (shoulder)
▪ Questionable: TE Ladarius Green (ankle, concussion), DT Corey Liuget (ankle)
▪ Probable: DT Ryan Carrethers (elbow), QB Philip Rivers (chest, back)
vs. Kansas City
at St. Louis
vs. St. Louis
at New Orleans
W, 27-24 (OT)
at N.Y. Giants
vs. San Diego