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49ers elevate Dennard, Nzeocha for NFC playoff game vs. Cowboys

/ by Matt Maiocco
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The 49ers on Saturday elevated linebacker Mark Nzeocha and defensive back Darqueze Dennard from the practice squad to be available for the team’s first-round playoff game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers elevated Nzeocha from the practice squad for the third consecutive game. Nzeocha spent the past four seasons with the 49ers before the club signed him to the practice squad late in the season to play a prominent role on special teams.

The 49ers also announced punter Mitch Wishnowsky has been cleared from the NFL's return-to-play concussion protocol and will resume his usual duties. The 49ers listed him as "questionable" on Friday. He no longer has an injury designation.

Dennard, whom the 49ers signed last week, ended up playing 21 snaps on defense and 10 plays on special teams in the team's Week 18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

With Dennard available as a backup cornerback, it places the role for veteran cornerback Josh Norman in question. The 49ers started Emmanuel Moseley and Ambry Thomas at cornerback last week, and Norman did not play any snaps on defense. Norman started 14 games during the regular season.

The 49ers on Friday list three players as questionable to play against the Cowboys: linebackers Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) and Marcell Harris (Achilles), and safety Talanoa Hufanga (knee).

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (right thumb) and left tackle Trent Williams (elbow) were not listed on the team’s injury report, and are set to start in Sunday’s game.

RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Cowboys NFC Wild Card Game

The 49ers enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 6 seed and face the Cowboys, the No. 3 seed, on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

 

The 49ers clinched their second playoff spot in three seasons with a 27-24 come-from-behind overtime victory against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18.

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