NFL review and preview: Injuries continue to devastate the 49ers
Talk about a 1-2 punch.
The San Francisco 49ers have lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle, possibly for the rest of the season, dealing a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.
Forget the Super Bowl hangover that routinely afflicts the NFL’s runner-up. The 49ers haven’t necessarily played poorly — they knocked off the Rams two weeks ago — yet they have been ravaged by injuries.
Garoppolo suffered his second high-ankle sprain of the season in Sunday’s loss at Seattle, and Kittle left the game with a suspected broken foot, although X-rays proved negative. Garoppolo and Kittle, both of whom missed two games earlier this season, were the team’s 18th and 19th players put on injured reserve.
That would constitute bad news at any point in the season, but especially with the team playing host to 5-2 Green Bay on Thursday night. The Packers are looking to bounce back after Sunday’s home loss to one-win Minnesota.
San Francisco’s list of walking wounded isn’t a roll call of scrubs, either. Every one of the team’s best skill-position players have spent time on injured reserve this season, including running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, and receiver Deebo Samuel. Also on injured reserve are defensive stars Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Richard Sherman.
The Chargers dealt defensive back Desmond King to Tennessee on Monday, one day before the NFL trade deadline. They received a sixth-round pick in 2021.
Green Bay at San Francisco is a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game, when Mostert ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns. But now, the 49ers ground game falls to Jerick McKinnon and undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty. Quite a comedown.
Adrian Peterson compiled a lifetime of memories during his career with the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the club’s all-time leading rusher, a three-time league rushing champion, and joining Alan Page and Fran Tarkenton as Vikings named the NFL’s most valuable player.
Peterson, now with the Detroit Lions, returns to Minnesota on Sunday.
Already, this season has been like a rocking-chair tour for the future Hall of Famer, who at 35 has long outlasted typical running backs. Through the first 10 weeks, he will have played his four former teams — Arizona, New Orleans, Minnesota, and Washington.
Buffalo plays host to Seattle on Sunday, meaning Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a leading MVP candidate, will be making his second trip to play in that city.
Wilson played at the Bills during his rookie season in 2012, leading the Seahawks to a 50-17 victory.
The good news for Buffalo in that game? Wilson only threw for one touchdown.
The bad news? He ran for three more.
Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders did let a big dose of football weather prevent them from pulling off a road win against the Cleveland Browns.
For the second time this season, two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history will command the spotlight. New Orleans plays at Tampa Bay, so it’s Drew Brees versus Tom Brady.
The Buccaneers played the Saints in the season opener, and Brady was lackluster (two touchdowns, two interceptions) in a 34-23 loss.
Another quarterback matchup to watch Sunday is Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa vs. Arizona’s Kyler Murray. They finished 1-2 in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018, with Oklahoma’s Murray beating Alabama’s Tagovailoa in a fairly close race.
Arizona is the league’s No. 1 offense in yards per game, and Miami’s defense tops the league in points allowed.
And what’s the only matchup this week between teams riding three-game winning streaks?
Dolphins at Cardinals.
Not many people would have predicted that.
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