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Thursday, December 19, 2013
49ers fairly healthy going down stretch

By Bill Williamson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Speaking about the San Francisco 49ers’ defense on Thursday, star inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman said the team is relatively healthy going down the stretch -- a big key to a run in the postseason.

"For the most part we're healthy, man, and I think that's the big thing," Bowman said. "My big thing now is that we're healthy at the end the month of December and we're able to play at 100 percent level and give it all that we have and not really have any excuses."

The team's 53-man roster is fairly healthy overall as evident by Thursday’s injury report as the 49ers have been practicing in earnest in preparation of Monday’s night’s home game against Atlanta.

The big question mark remains left guard Mike Iupati, who has missed the past four games with a knee sprain. He was limited for the fourth straight practice this week. The fact that Iupati is still limited could be concerning, but it might just be the team’s plan of bringing him back slowly.

Center Jonathan Goodwin (not injury related), receiver Mario Manningham (illness, knee), and defensive end Justin Smith (shoulder) did not practice. Barring setbacks or anything unforeseen, all three players should be on track to play Monday. Receiver Michael Crabtree had a hand injury Sunday at Tampa Bay, but he practiced fully Thursday.