Week 15 not only took the 49ers out of playoff contention but also left the team with a very depleted roster to face the Chargers in week 16. The Niners returned from Seattle without stand out rookie LB Chris Borland, who definitely changed the way the Seahawks approached the run before he left the game with an ankle injury. Marshawn Lynch really didn't get going in the running game until that point. Borland has been placed on season ending IR and Chase Thomas has been activated from the practice squad.

The 49ers also lost Frank Gore to a concussion and Carlos Hyde to an ankle and back injury that everyone thought would and should have been a knee ligament tear. Gore is questionable to play vs. the Chargers, Hyde has been ruled out. The list of injuries from Sunday includes WR Stevie Johnson, LB Ahmad Brooks, CB Perrish Cox, LB Ahmad Brooks, and TE Garrett Celek who was placed on season ending IR. This is in addition to the myriad of players who were already injured: CB Tramaine Brock, S Bubba Ventrone, T Anthony Davis, C Jonathan Martin,  or placed on season ending IR: LB Patrick Willis, LB Navorro Bowman, TE Garrett Celek, CB Chris Cook, NT Glenn Dorsey, RB Kendall Hunter, C Daniel Kilgore, TE Vance McDonald, DB Jimmie Ward and NT Ian Williams.

There will be a few new faces on the field, filling in the empty shoes. RB Alfonso Smith will most likely see some playing time. He is a 4th year player out of Kentucky that has spent most of his time with the Cardinals. Nick Moody will start at linebacker as well as either Aaron Lynch or Dan Skuta for the injured Brooks.

The Chargers are playing for their playoff lives but the Niners have nothing to lose. Most of the media coverage regarding home team has been about the impending departure of HC Jim Harbaugh and it's effect on the team, especially Colin Kaepernick, likening it to him being a child of divorce. The release of Ray McDonald due to rape allegations, has also shared the headlines. 

Philip Rivers isn't 100% and he is without WR Keenan Allen and RB Ryan Matthews, making the 49ers a one point home favorite. Maybe, just maybe, they will play spoiler and give the fans a happy ending to a tumultuous week.



03/23/2015 2:56am

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