After initial fears that 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander might have suffered a serious injury Thursday night in Arizona, the team now is more optimistic about his status.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported that Alexander wasn't immediately diagnosed with a torn pec and "appears to have good range of motion."
Earlier, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan had told reporters after the 28-25 win over the Cardinals that Alexander will undergo an MRI on his chest Friday.
"We're guessing somewhere with his pec," Shanahan said.
If Alexander indeed suffered an injury to his pectoral muscle, it very likely could end his season. That would be a huge blow to the 49ers' defense, considering Alexander entered Thursday's game ranked second on the team with 34 tackles.
For reference, Houston's J.J. Watt tore his pectoral muscle last weekend against the Raiders, and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Alexander's injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter against the Cardinals.
Alexander did not register a tackle on defense before he was removed from the game.
Is your quarterback elite? Well, if you're a fan of the 49ers then no -- at least according to Chris Simms.
The NBC Sports football analyst couldn't confidently put Jimmy Garoppolo in the elite category, but still had plenty of praise toward him, especially knowing he plans on leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
"I think there's some quarterbacks in football right now: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes -- they kind of stand alone," Simms said.
After that handful of quarterbacks, Simms highlights a group of "good," a squad that he considers Jimmy G to be a part of. Plus, Garoppolo has a lot of "good" surrounding him.
The elite talents of tight end George Kittle are something that shouldn't be argued -- unless you're not sure if he's a decent blocker or not. Ahem, Doug Gottlieb.
"That's all you need to win a Super Bowl," Simms added.
The consensus around Jimmy G's eliteness is that he's not elite, but he's not bad, but he's good enough.
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Got all of that?
His throwing abilities have been talked about, but once again the word "elite" was not mentioned.
A lot of times for athletes, it's not up to them whether or not they want to retire -- it's up to their body. For 49ers tackle Joe Staley, it's really no different.
"I like to think that I can continue to play football for as long as they'll have me," Staley said in an interview with 95.7 The Game on Thursday. "And that's my mindset. I've never thought about when an end is going to be."
The 35-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with San Francisco in June which ultimately means he could spend the entirety of his NFL career as a member of the 49ers. And while that seems like a long time, he's still soaking up the everyday grind of his job even with the setbacks he's faced this season.
"The challenges of this season have been different than seasons past," he said. "I love the adverse situations and you kind of learn a lot about yourself -- how you respond and challenge yourself daily with different goals ... "
Staley sustained a fractured left fibula earlier in the season during the Week 2 matchup against the Bengals and with a smile tried to remain positive but admitted: "it sucks." He was emotional after the injury but said that had a lot to do with how special the team was and the guys he was surrounded by.
Still, you can't fake the passion the six-time Pro Bowler brings to the 49ers and it appears you would have to pry the game away from his hands if you anticipate him hanging up his cleats any time soon.
[RELATED: How Jimmy G can enter record books in 49ers-Falcons]
"That love for the game is still there, burning," Staley said.
He finished the statement saying he doesn't have an honest answer as to just how much football is left in his body, but it's not something he's concentrating on at the moment.