Despite a minor scare, 49ers tight end George Kittle will be a full go for the NFC Championship Game … [+]
The San Francisco 49ers are nearing their NFC Championship Game battle against the Green Bay Packers for a spot in Super Bowl LIV.
There’s definitely good news coming from Santa Clara ahead of Sunday’s game against Green Bay at Levi’s Stadium.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan noted following Friday’s practice that there are no injuries to report. Not a single player on San Francisco’s current 53-man roster is listed as out, questionable, doubtful or probable for the game.
That’s certainly a rarity for this late in the season. Given the 49ers’ injury issues during the regular year, this is magnified even further.
Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle gave folks a scare on Wednesday when it was noted he missed practice with an ankle injury. Kittle was a full go during Friday’s final practice before the NFC Championship Game.
One day prior, the record-breaking pass catcher said everything was “fabulous.”
Pro Bowlers Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander were not listed on the non-existent injury report. (Photo by … [+]
Meanwhile, both Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander are said to be full go’s for the game. Ford missed the final three games of the regular season with a hamstring injury that had been bugging him all year. He returned to action in last week’s divisional round win over Minnesota, recording a sack in the process.
San Francisco’s biggest off-season free-agent signing, Alexander suffered a torn pectoral muscle back in Week 8. It initially seemed he’d miss the remainder of the season, playoffs included. In a shocking manner, the former Pro Bowl linebacker was able to return last week.
Having both players not even listed as injured is absolutely huge for Kyle Shanahan’s squad heading into Sunday’s game. San Francisco’s defense has been elite with those two on the field together. Remember, neither Ford nor Alexander played in San Francisco’s blowout 37-8 win over Green Bay back in Week 12.
Currently 7.5-point favorites, the 49ers are in a much better situation as it relates to injuries than Green Bay. Though, it does look like every major contributor on the Packers’ 53-man roster should be good to go in this one.
The Pro Football Writers of America have been releasing their annual awards this week. Earlier, Nick Bosa earned both Defensive Rookie of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. John Lynch was named Executive of the Year.
The interesting dynamic is that both head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo were seemingly snubbed. Baltimore Ravens head man John Harbaugh earned the Coach of the Year award despite his counterpart leading the 49ers to a nine-win improvement from a season ago.
Titans QB Ryan Tannehill earned Comeback Player of the Year honors over Jimmy Garoppolo. (Photo by … [+]
Meanwhile, Tennessee Titans signal caller Ryan Tannehill earned the Comeback Player of the Year award over Jimmy Garoppolo. Given that San Francisco’s quarterback missed all but three games last season with a torn ACL, only to lead the team to nearly 30 points per game and the No. 1 seed in the NFC, that’s somewhat surprising.
Despite this, it would be foolish to ignore what both Harbaugh and Tannehill did during the regular season. The major awards in all of these categories will be handed out the night before Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
A lot has been made of the 49ers’ blowout win over Green Bay back in Week 12. Shanahan continues to downplay it. For good reason. This is a completely different monster.
Look at it this way. Green Bay has won six consecutive games since that outing in late November. Its defense has yielded less than 16 points per game while defeating two playoff teams during that span. The Packers credit this improvement to a players’ only meeting after said loss to San Francisco.
Vegas clearly favors a 49ers-Chiefs Super Bowl.
That’s about as narrow as it can get between two of the final-four teams. Should San Francisco and Kansas City do battle, the point spread promises to be among the smallest in recent history. Other Super Bowl scenarios would lead to a much larger point spread.
Kickoff for the NFC Championship Game is slated for Sunday at 6:40 PM ET. Weather in Santa Clara is expected to be cloudy with a high of 60 degrees and six mile-per-hour winds.