The 49ers are going full steam ahead with Trey Lance under center Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, with Jimmy Garoppolo ruled out because of a calf injury.
And while the rookie quarterback will have a few teammates back in the fold to support his first NFL start, he might be without a key offensive weapon.
All-Pro tight end George Kittle also is dealing with a calf injury that held him out of practice all week, and is doubtful to play this week. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle will test out his calf Saturday, which is why the team hasn't ruled the tight end out yet.
The good news for Lance is that running back Elijah Mitchell, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury since Week 2, was cleared to play. The sixth-round draft pick will join fellow rookie Trey Sermon in the 49ers' backfield, potentially providing a one-two punch against the Cardinals.
Mitchell had a standout debut in Week 1 in Detroit, carrying the ball 19 times for 109 yards and one touchdown, and he could provide a solid check-down option for Lance. The three offensive rookies have drawn on each other for support in their debut seasons.
Cornerback Josh Norman will return on the defensive side of the ball. Dre Kirkpatrick filled in for the veteran, who missed Week 4 with a chest injury that caused fluid to build up in his lungs. Kirkpatrick noted that while it has been a competition, Norman has “done nothing to lose his job as a starter.”
Defensive tackle D.J. Jones, who dealt with a sore knee Thursday, felt better Friday and isn't on the injury report. Defensive end Arik Armstead also was absent from the injury report.
Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was limited in practice Thursday because of a knee injury, but he's likely to play.
Here is the full injury report ahead of the 49ers' Week 5 game against the Cardinals:
OUT QB Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) CB K’Waun Williams (calf)
DOUBTFUL TE George Kittle (calf)
QUESTIONABLE DT Javon Kinlaw (knee) DL Samson Ebukam (hamstring)
OUT CB Byron Murphy (ribs) T Justin Murray (back)
QUESTIONABLE T Kelvin Beachum (ribs) RB Eno Benjamin (hamstring) RB Chase Edmonds (shoulder) CB Antonio Hamilton (ankle) TE Maxx Williams (shoulder) CB Marco Wilson (ribs)