San Francisco 49ers: NFL Injury Wire

Hearing that star inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman might miss half the season because of his torn ACL was certainly interesting news Thursday.

However, it shouldn't be shocking. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said while he wouldn't count Bowman out for Week 1, midway through the season is more realistic. Harbaugh is simply being cautious and showing that Bowman will not be rushed back. It's the right approach.

Bowman hasn't suffered a setback. The normal ACL recovery time is 6-9 months from the time of surgery. Bowman had surgery Feb. 2 so the second half of the season would be the right target date.

The 49ers have experience with starting a season without a key player. Receiver Michael Crabtree missed the first 11 games of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in May. The 49ers offense badly missed Crabtree.

I think the team will handle this situation better. They are deep on defense and Bowman will not miss as much time.

Michael Wilhoite did a nice job while playing for an injured Patrick Willis for a short time last season. He will likely get the first crack at replacing Bowman, although I could see the team adding a veteran to provide options and depth while the team waits for Bowman's return.

A day after a painful 23-17 loss at Seattle, the San Francisco 49ers got some clarity on injuries to two key players.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that linebacker NaVorro Bowman has a torn MCL in addition to a torn ACL on his left knee. The early indications Sunday was Bowman suffered a torn ACL. Also, a source confirmed that guard Mike Iupati broke his fibula in the game. The initial thought by the team was he fractured his ankle.

Iupati
Bowman
Iupati's recovery time is about two months. It will not affect his 2014 season.

Bowman's recover will be a storyline throughout the offseason. Schefter reported that tears such as Bowman's are routine enough that he is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

However, the torn MCL complicates matters because it will likely delay his surgery for the torn ACL. Thus, it could extend his recovery time. So, if there are any complications, there is a chance Bowman could miss some time in the regular season.

Bowman's and Iupati's injuries continued a trend of the 49ers suffering major injuries at Seattle. Defensive tackle Ian Williams was lost for the season in Week 2 at Seattle.
SEATTLE -- As expected, the San Francisco 49ers are going to be in excellent health for the start of Sunday's NFC championship at Seattle.

The team's two injury question marks -- cornerback Carlos Rogers and fullback Will Tukuafu -- are active and will play. Rogers missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. Tukuafu missed most of the Carolina game with a knee injury.

Rogers will be the nickel cornerback. Perrish Cox, who played well when Rogers was out, will be the fourth cornerback.

Veteran Eric Wright is inactive because Rogers is active and because Cox beat him out two weeks ago. The 49ers expected more from Wright this season, but they see the younger Cox as a more reliable option.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- All 53 San Francisco 49ers practiced Thursday as they close in on preparations for Sunday's NFC Championship game at Seattle.

Pro Bowl linebacker Ahmad Brooks appears to be on track to play Sunday. He missed Wednesday's practice with what he said was a "severe head cold." However, he practiced fully Thursday. Barring a setback, Brooks should be fine.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and fullback Will Tukuafu (knee) remained on track to play as they were limited for a second straight day. Barring setbacks, they too should be ready to play Sunday.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wouldn't say how much Rogers, who hasn't played since Week 17, would play. Perish Cox has done a nice job since taking over for him.

"We’re hoping that he can get 100 percent healthy," Fangio said of Rogers. "And then we'll see exactly what his role will be at that point."
Carlos Rogers is hopeful to finally play in a playoff game this month.

Rogers
The cornerback told reporters he hopes to practice this week and barring a setback, he expects to play at Seattle in the NFC Championship Game Sunday. Rogers missed the games at Green Bay and at Carolina with a hamstring injury he suffered at Arizona in Week 17. Rogers hasn't practiced since.

Perrish Cox took Rogers' role in his absence.

Meanwhile, fullback Will Tukuafu told reporters he is day-to-day. He missed most of the Carolina game with a knee injury. He will likely be a game-time decision. Tukuafu shared time with Anthony Dixon. If he can't play, rookie tight end Vance McDonald will likely share time with Dixon as he did against Carolina.

Meanwhile, the 49ers signed receivers David Reed and DeMarco Sampson and defensive tackle Christian Tupou to future contracts.
It appears Perrish Cox will get another chance to be the nickel cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Cox
Carlos Rogers will likely miss his second straight playoff game in the divisional round at Carolina. Rogers, who has a hamstring injury, was not seen practicing with the 49ers on Friday morning. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said on Thursday that Rogers needed to practice if he was going to play. Rogers didn’t practice all week.

That means Cox, re-signed last week, should be the 49ers' nickel cornerback again. He played virtually the entire game at Green Bay and played well.

Cox unexpectedly leapfrogged veteran Eric Wright because he had a better week of practice last week. Fangio was complimentary of Cox’s work this week.

“Well, we expected him to play to the best of his ability, which he had,” Fangio said. “It wasn’t like we got him off the street a few days before the game started. But, he had spent a year and however many games it was here to training camp. So, he knew our system and it was an easy adjustment for him that way. But, he hadn’t played any significant playing time while he was with us and none while he was with Seattle. So, major kudos to him to go out and perform the way he did.”

Cox's job may be easier this week, because the Panthers use three-receiver sets less than the Packers.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Carlos Rogers is missing practice for the fifth straight practice with a hamstring injury.

Rogers
The San Francisco 49ers cornerback said Thursday that he hopes to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. However, he must practice if he is going to play. San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he doesn’t expect Rogers to play against the Panthers if he doesn’t practice. That means Rogers must practice Friday before the 49ers fly to North Carolina.

Rogers has been running this week.

“I have to be smart,” he said. “I don’t know if I will be ready, but I am trying.”

All indications are that if Rogers can’t play, Perrish Cox will be the nickel cornerback. He played virtually the entire game at Green Bay over veteran Eric Wright. Fangio said the team went with Cox, who was signed earlier in the week, because he had a better week of practice than Wright.

Rotational defensive tackle DeMarcus Dobbs (knee) returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s session.

In other 49ers notes:

Fangio said he has had no contact with any teams about a head-coaching job. ESPN reported that the Redskins were interested in him. However, they hired Jay Gruden on Thursday.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman called talk that he interviewed for the Penn State job “speculation.” The school reportedly will hire Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. Roman’s name has also been attached to the open Minnesota Vikings job.

In an Insider piece, Matt Williamson thinks 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick could be a weak link at Carolina. He certainly was the last time these two teams played. But will it happen again?

ESPN Stats & Information has a matchup to watch in the game.

49ers enjoying strong health

January, 8, 2014
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- While cornerback Carlos Rogers' hamstring injury continues to linger, the San Francisco 49ers head into their NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina in solid overall health.

Earlier Wednesday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he liked his team’s overall health going into the game and the team's injury report confirmed the 49ers are in solid shape.

The following San Francisco players missed practice Wednesday: defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs (knee, shoulder), center Jonathan Goodwin (not injury related), defensive tackle Justin Smith (shoulder) and Rogers.

Smith and Goodwin routinely don’t practice on Wednesdays and Dobbs is a backup. If Rogers, who didn’t play at Green Bay, can’t play Sunday, Perrish Cox and Eric Wright will play the nickel spot for him.

In other 49ers notes:

Harbaugh said this when asked to explain how much fun he’s having coaching in the playoffs: “This is as much fun as you can possibly have in football and as much fun as you can have in life, yeah.”

Harbaugh said he thought the 49ers matched up well physically against the tough-and-tumble Panthers in Carolina’s 10-9 win in San Francisco on Nov. 10.

Harbaugh complemented the Panthers' defensive front seven by saying it was the most talented group the 49ers have played this season.
Going into their wild-card game at Green Bay, there were genuine concerns about the secondary of the San Francisco 49ers.

Rogers
After the depleted unit played well, keeping Aaron Rodgers from engineering an upset, prospects for Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina look much more promising.

It appears cornerback Carlos Rogers is on schedule to play at Carolina. He missed the Green Bay game with a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 17 at Arizona. Rogers told reporters Tuesday he's been running and feels on pace to play.

If Rogers plays, that means Perrish Cox will drop to the dime. Cox, signed last week, was the surprise call at nickel against Green Bay. He played nearly the entire game and did well, especially considering he was unemployed the week before. Cox was given the call over veteran Eric Wright.

Wright was expected to be the nickel with Rogers out. But there were indications that the team wasn't quite ready for Wright to play. He could bounce back and play some nickel moving forward.

Regardless, with a healthy Rogers and confidence in Cox, the 49ers head forward in the playoffs with renewed strength at the position.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The San Francisco 49ers are headed to Green Bay on Friday with questions at cornerback -- as there has been all week.

The team listed Carlos Rogers and his replacement, Eric Wright, as questionable to play in Sunday's wild-card game. Both players have hamstring injuries. It appears Wright may have a better chance of playing than Rogers.

Wright was injured in practice Thursday but returned Friday. Rogers missed practice all week after getting hurt Sunday at Arizona. His optimism waned as the week went on.

Tarell Brown and newly signed Perrish Cox will play extensively along with Tramaine Brock. So Wright will be needed. Barring a setback, he should be able to play.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Thursday, there was optimism that cornerback Carlos Rogers would practice in preparation for Sunday’s playoff game against Green Bay.

Rogers
San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday that the thought was Rogers would try to practice. However, during the short window while the media was able to watch, Rogers was working on a side field with a member of the strength team, and was not wearing practice clothes.

Rogers suffered a hamstring injury Sunday at Arizona. Both Rogers and Fangio said this week that the injury is not bad as initially thought.

A decision on Rogers’ availability might not happen until Sunday. Possible replacements include Eric Wright, Tarell Brown and Perrish Cox.
As expected, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers did not practice Wednesday.

Rogers, who suffered a hamstring injury Sunday, has expressed optimism that he will be able to play against the pass-happy Green Bay Packers on Sunday in a wild-card game. Rogers' status could be decided as late as Sunday.

Eric Wright and Tarell Brown will replace Rogers if he can't play.

"It's a great opportunity and a challenge," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "And, we'll go out there today on the practice field and that has a tendency to kind of scream to you, 'play me, count on me in this game,' or 'don't count on me.' So, I'm excited about it. I'm excited to see that."

Rogers is the only injury question the 49ers have this week.

In other 49ers' notes:
  • Sunday's game is supposed to be played in frigid weather. The high temperature for Sunday is supposed to 4 degrees with the low of minus-5. How is 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick planning to deal with the cold?

    "You just have to block it out," he said.
  • The Miami Herald is reporting 49ers offensive consultant Eric Mangini may be a candidate for a front-office job in Miami.

49ers have questions at cornerback

December, 30, 2013
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There is potential flux for the San Francisco 49ers at cornerback -- just in time to face Aaron Rodgers in an elimination game.

Rogers
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Eric Wright will play for Carlos Rogers if Rodgers can't play Sunday at Green Bay in a wild-card playoff game. Rogers suffered a hamstring injury late in the win over Arizona on Sunday. He had an MRI on Monday and Harbaugh offered no details. However, Rogers said Sunday he felt fine and didn't think the injury was serious.

The 49ers added cornerback Perrish Cox on Monday to complete the 53-man roster. He filled the spot vacated when receiver Mario Manningham was put on injured reserve Friday. Harbaugh said the plan was to sign Cox before Rogers was injured.

The 49ers' pass defense has struggled in the past two games allowing 755 combined passing yards to Atlanta and Arizona. Much of those yards came late. Harbaugh indicated Monday he wasn't worried about the issue.

If Wright has to play for Rogers, the 49ers have faith. He has been an NFL starter and he's played well in a reserve role this season. The 49ers are deep at the position. Cox can play in dime situations, which often may be the case against the Packers.

The 49ers will certainly be in better shape if Rogers can play, but they can probably withstand the loss if he can't play. Even if Rogers' injury is not serious, he'd probably rest some this week during practice because hamstrings easily aggravate.

No surprises on 49ers' inactive list

December, 29, 2013
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There isn’t much intrigue on the San Francisco 49ers’ list of inactives Sunday at Arizona.

And that’s a good thing for the team. This team is very healthy. All six of the team’s inactive players are young, depth players. The 49ers have only 52 players on the roster after putting receiver Mario Manningham on the injured reserve Friday. The 49ers are expected to fill the roster in the next couple of days.

Here are Sunday’s inactive players: tight end Derek Carrier, linebacker Nick Moody, guard Ryan Seymour, defensive tackle Quinton Dial, guard Joe Looney and receiver Jon Baldwin.
On a day when the San Francisco 49ers put receiver Mario Manningham on the injured reserve, most of the team's injury news is otherwise positive.

The team has only one player listed as questionable headed into Sunday's game at Arizona. That's backup linebacker Dan Skuta, who has a foot injury. Eleven players are listed as probable as the 49ers move toward the playoffs.

In other 49ers news:
  • Chicago kicker Robbie Gould, 31, signed a four-year, $15 million deal Friday and will get $9 million guaranteed. 49ers kicker Phil Dawson, 38, is a free agent after this season. He inked a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the 49ers in the offseason. Dawson is having a great season. The 49ers want him back and he wants to return. I would think Dawson is due for a raise, but don't expect a Gould-like deal because of Dawson's age.
  • 49ers left tackle Joe Staley gets some All-Pro love from Grantland.
  • Here is a close look at the 49ers-Cardinals game in an Insider piece.

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