No one has a shorter playoff turnaround than the San Francisco 49ers, who kick off the postseason with a Saturday matinee against the Seattle Seahawks.
For the most part, the 49ers are healthy going into the playoffs. Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell both returned to action against the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend and will be full participants in practice this week without injury designations.
San Francisco will also not malign the fact that they have one less day to recover given that most starters were rested in the second half of Sunday’s 38-13 blowout win. Seattle, meanwhile, had to go to overtime against the Los Angeles Rams.
Should the 49ers win, the Saturday matchup would earn them, at worst, a normal week if they play again next Saturday, or an additional day if it’s a Sunday slate for the Divisional Round.
While Tuesday’s “practice” was just a walkthrough with no one donning pads, Kyle Shanahan provided the following participation report:
Will not practice:
- Jimmy Garoppolo (foot)
- Ambry Thomas (ankle – was re-aggravated this past week)
- Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (neck)
- Aaron Banks (ankle, knee)
- Dre Greenlaw (back)
- Arik Armstead (foot, ankle)
- Javon Kinlaw (knee)
- Christian McCaffrey (knee)
- Kevin Givens (knee) – full participant and making his return after suffering an MCL sprain against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14.
For all intents and purposes, Armstead, Kinlaw and McCaffrey’s limited status should be ignored. They are almost always limited on the first day of the week. Flannigan-Fowles, Banks and Greenlaw’s statuses bear monitoring throughout the week.
Here’s some news that would seriously frustrate 90s rock band Blind Melon; it’s going to pour on Saturday, yet again.
If you’re sick of the weather, maybe don’t show up to Levi’s Stadium this weekend. If you do, bring a poncho and drive safe.
Tuesday’s storm of wind and rain destroyed trees and property, causing flooding, mudslides and hitting some of the Bay with a brief smattering of hail and lightning.
The rest of the day appears clear, and there looks to be another reprieve on Thursday. But Saturday will be a mess, with just about every weather service predicting rain and strong winds with a high degree of confidence.
Check whatever weather service you want.
Weather Underground predicts a 92 percent chance of precipitation or more from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. in Santa Clara on Saturday with at least 10-plus mile per hour winds, and heavy gusts throughout.
AccuWeather offers a 98 percent chance of precipitation (and 1.30 inches of rain) during the day with winds around 14 MPH and gusts up to 29 MPH, with a “significant risk of power outages and flooding.”
The Weather Channel has a 100 percent chance of rain, which “may reach an inch,” with winds ranging between 10-15 MPH.
The 49ers are taking their own preparations, with The Athletic’s Matt Barrows showing massive fans drying out the playing surface at Levi’s Stadium.
The wild weather has caused damage all across the Bay Area, and it looks set to continue.
At the very least, Javon Kinlaw’s four dogs will be comfortable. The defensive tackle told KNBR Tuesday that he has a state of the art “facility” for his pups at his house; they’ve stayed cozy throughout the deluge of these past few weeks.
Other notes: Cursed third matchup? Kalia Davis and Sean McVay
- Kyle Shanahan’s not exactly worried about the premise of a third matchup against the Seahawks being innately problematic. While the 49ers lost their third matchup against the Los Angeles Rams in last year’s NFC Championship after beating them twice in the regular season (and eight-straight times including those two wins), he feels like the prior context, aside from knowing Seattle well, is irrelevant:
Maybe if we had to do it three days in a row, but I look at it as we only have to beat them once because there’s no more in a row. Everything behind us doesn’t matter and it’s a one-game season right now, so we have to beat him this week one time and that will allow us move to next week.
(A relevant statistical note on the three times in one season thing, from ESPN’s Nick Wagoner):
- Sean McVay’s murky future: It’s seeming more and more like Sean McVay may step away from football, at least in a coaching role, after this season. His future is reportedly “in limbo” and he’ll take the next few weeks to decide if he’ll continue after this season with Los Angeles (with Kliff Kingsbury potentially joining him if he does stick around). ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported that “there’s a growing sense” he will step aside. And on Tuesday, McVay told his staff to feel free to look for greener pastures:
- Kalia Davis won’t get a chance as a rookie: It appears none of the 49ers’ sixth-round picks will play a significant role this season. Nick Zakelj has been inactive for all but five games, getting 11 offensive snaps in Week 18 after just one before that. Tariq Castro-Fields was claimed off waivers by the Washington Commanders following roster cuts. Kalia Davis, who had his 21-day non-football injury return window opened by the 49ers a few weeks ago, will be shut down. Kyle Shanahan said he wouldn’t play barring injury, and with Kevin Givens returning, there’s no space for Davis. Shanahan confirmed Tuesday he’d be shut down for the year, but was happy he got a few weeks of practice after missing OTAs and training camp recovering from a torn ACL suffered in college.