49ers injury report: Joe Staley returns to practice on Thanksgiving Day

49ers injury report: Joe Staley returns to practice on Thanksgiving Day

Six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley returned to practice for the 49ers on Thanksgiving Day as he looks to return to action after sustaining a fractured and dislocated finger on his right hand that required surgery more than two weeks ago.

Staley has a chance to play Sunday when the 49ers (10-1) travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens (9-2).

If Staley is unable to play, the 49ers will decide if Daniel Brunskill or Justin Skule gets the start. Skule has started all eight games in which Staley has been unavailable this season. (He missed six games earlier this season with a fractured left lower leg.)

Brunskill entered the 49ers’ 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night and played well after Skule struggled.

[RELATED: 49ers backups to compete for starting job if Staley out]

Defensive end Dee Ford, who sustained a hamstring strain two weeks ago while sacking Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, did not practice Thursday. Backup wide receiver Dante Pettis, who sustained a knee injury at the beginning of practice on Wednesday, also did not practice.

Tight end George Kittle (ankle, knee) returned to limited practice and is on pace to play Sunday, along with running back Matt Breida (ankle), and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder).

49ers practice report

Did not practice
DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)

RB Matt Breida (ankle)
TE George Kittle (knee, ankle)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)
T Joe Staley (finger)

Full practice
K Robbie Gould (right quadricep)
DT Jullian Taylor (jaw)

Report: NFL seeks to add playoff team in each conference in next CBA

Report: NFL seeks to add playoff team in each conference in next CBA

The NFL’s playoff structure is expected to change to reportedly include seven teams in both conferences to advance to the postseason.

The current proposal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, would add one playoff team in each conference and only the top seed in the AFC and NFC would be rewarded with byes in the first round of the playoffs.

The changes to the playoff format would take effect this season when the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. ESPN reports there is “mounting optimism” the new CBA will be agreed upon within the week.

Through last season, the top six teams in both conferences made the playoffs. If the playoff proposal had been in effect last season, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have advanced to the playoffs as the Nos. 7 seeds.

As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers would have still earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. But the Green Bay Packers, the No. 2 seed, would have played in the extra game against the Rams. If the Rams were to have upset the Packers in the wild-card round, the 49ers would have played Los Angeles in the NFC Divisional Playoff instead of the Minnesota Vikings.

But the new proposal would have had an even more major impact in the AFC, where the Kansas City Chiefs would have been forced to win three games in the playoffs just to advance to the Super Bowl.

"That's been agreed to for a long time," one source familiar with the CBA talks told ESPN about the NFL's new playoff structure. "There wasn't a lot of disagreement to that issue."

[RELATED49ers roster analysis: More receiver depth needed around Deebo Samuel]

Players on the top team in each conference will receive postseason pay for the bye weekend, unlike years past, according to the report.

Also, ESPN reported that the sides are also trying to work through a proposal for a 17-game regular season, while the exhibition season is shortened to three games. The earliest that change could occur would be the 2021 season, according to the report.

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Before the 49ers officially had lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they would be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

49ers players throughout the roster already are thinking of everything they can do to make another run at it, and that includes bringing back free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made it clear Wednesday on Twitter that he wants to see the 49ers bring back the 32-year-old veteran.

Sanders showed his appreciation later Wednesday morning.

After coming over from the Denver Broncos via trade in October, Sanders excelled with the 49ers. He caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and added five receptions for 71 yards in the postseason.

But Sanders could have been an even more critical part of 49ers lore, had it not been for Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass with less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV. But it was not meant to be.

Sanders has been open about his love for the team that had just barely missed the championship and has spoken out about those second-guessing him due to his age. 

The receiver laughed at the fact that he has been "flying past 23-year-olds," and exhorted that he still has plenty of good years left in him.

[RELATED: Sanders offers advice to teammates playing in first Super Bowl]

He also embraced the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team, such as Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders loved the loose vibes of the 49ers' locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo surely noticed that and knows he wants his teammate back for the team's quest to make another Super Bowl run next season.