The 49ers will be healthier Sunday than they've been in a while, with running back Raheem Mostert, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and cornerback Richard Sherman all set to return Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
That will be a tremendous help, considering the 49ers have had a higher quantity and quality of players miss time this season than any other team in the NFL.
The 49ers not only have had the most players miss games with injuries, but Man Games Lost determined that the Approximate Value the 49ers have lost due to injury is among the league's largest.
Only the Dallas Cowboys, who lost star quarterback Dak Prescott to a fractured ankle last month, come close to the quality the 49ers have lost due to injury this season. The 3-8 Cowboys are only a game out of first place in the wretched NFC East despite Prescott's absence, while the totality of the 4-6 49ers' injuries has all but but ensured they won't repeat as NFC West champions this season.
Mostert, Samuel and Sherman aren't the only 49ers starters who've missed significant time this season. All-Pro tight end George Kittle hasn't played since sustaining a foot fracture in Week 8, and reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa sustained a season-ending torn ACL in Week 2. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been limited to six games due to multiple high ankle sprains, while safety Jaquiski Tartt is out for the year with a toe injury.
The 49ers' depth has been hit hard, too. Jerick McKinnon is the only running back who has played in all 10 games, and he missed the last two years after tearing his ACL and experiencing a setback in his rehab. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, signed to fill in for Bosa, is out for the year with a biceps tear. Tight end Jordan Reed, nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams and wide receiver Richie James, just to name three, have all missed at least three games.
Add it all together and the 49ers have had a league-leading 39 players spend time on injured reserve this season. Prior to Mostert, Samuel and Sherman's activation from IR on Saturday, the 49ers had over $86 million in salary-cap commitments on IR, or 42.6 percent of the cap.
As peerless as the 49ers' injury situation has been this season, they still have a chance at making the playoffs. The 49ers are two games back of the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC's seventh and final postseason spot, and the Niners play in Arizona on Dec. 27. They play the Seahawks, who currently are fifth, the following week and have games against the Cowboys and the Washington Football Team (4-7).
The 49ers first have to beat the Rams on Sunday, of course. But after losing more and better players than just about any other team this season, there might be no better time to get three starters back in the lineup.