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49ers Injury Report: Shanahan believes Williams will play

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the 49ers played the Rams, it was with Colton McKivitz at left tackle. After the comeback win, he was commended for his play, but the first half tape showed a fairly wretched performance that was amended in the second.

Needless to say, it is a chasmic drop-off from McKivitz to Trent Williams, who couldn’t play that game with a right elbow sprain.

He returned for the playoffs, excelling against both the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, in just his third and fourth-career playoff appearances. But he suffered an ankle sprain against Green Bay, limping significantly at the end of that game.

Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Williams’ status was muddied — in the same way Jordan Willis’ was last week — by the fact that he’s had past ankle injuries and there is a lack of clarity on how much of the injury is new or residual.

If it were a purely high ankle sprain, Shanahan said he would have already ruled Williams out.

But on Wednesday, Shanahan said he believes Williams will play.

“Trent’s the same as he was that [Week 18] game,” Shanahan said. “In Trent’s mind, there’s no way he’s not playing. Now, that’s why he was so crushed last game because he believed he would and his body wouldn’t let him, so hopefully we’ll have some better luck this game. Hopefully he has better luck this game. But I know he believes he’s playing and so do I. We’ll see how he pans out as the week goes.”

Williams will not practice on Wednesday, nor will running back Elijah Mitchell, who usually misses at least the first day of practice each week with a lingering knee injury.

The only other two players who won’t practice in full are Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle sprain) and Ambry Thomas (bone bruise, knee), who will both be limited.

That means that Jimmy Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel will both practice in full. Shanahan said that the shoulder sprain is no longer part of the injury designation for Garoppolo, indicating that the thumb is the focus.

In other transaction news, the team waived safety Jarrod Wilson, who may well end up back on the practice squad, and activated wide receiver Mohamed Sanu from injured reserve. Sanu suffered a bad knee sprain in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals.


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