San Francisco 49ers: Nicky Moody
Player: Chris Borland
Earliest he could have big role: Week 1
Why is there an opportunity? Star inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman is recovering from a torn ACL. He is expected to miss about half the season.
Who is in his way: Michael Wilhoite and Nick Moody
Current thoughts: If Borland starts in Week 1, it would be a bit of a surprise. Wilhoite is a good player. He has played well as an injury replacement for the 49ers and they trust him. But Borland is a player who just belongs on the field, if he shows the game is not too fast for him and has a good preseason, I could see him being on the field with Patrick Willis a lot early. But he has to prove it. He will likely be eased into action.
WEEK 16 - SATURDAY 12/20 - FINAL
2014 NFC WEST STANDINGS
Play Podcast ESPN.com's Mike Sando shares his thoughts on who could beat Seattle in the playoffs, where Jay Cutler could land if he's released from Chicago, and more.
Play Podcast Dan & Stu on Rondo to the Mavs, are CFB coaches payed too much, QB's making the NFL Playoffs, Bo Pelini's rant, LeBron is like Stugotz & Marcellus Wiley love advice.
Play Podcast PTI's Michael Wilbon weighs in on the state of the Bears, Jim Harbaugh's status, whether Jay Cutler would benefit from a change of venue, the Wizards' popularity and more.
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