SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers head into their Week 17 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams with a few reserves expected to play expanded roles.
Coach Kyle Shanahan already has ruled running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Dante Pettis out for the final game, meaning backup at both positions will see time.
Jeff Wilson will start at running back, and Alfred Morris and Matthew Dayes likely will serve as the backups.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin could be another inactive after he was cleated in the Achilles area of his leg in the 49ers' loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday. He sat out the first practice of the week Wednesday.
The 49ers promoted receiver Steven Dunbar from the practice squad to fill the spot vacated by safety Jaquiski Tartt, who went on injured reserve. Barring anything out of the ordinary, Shanahan said he expects Dunbar to play.
Tight end Garrett Celek is in the concussion protocol, but he was limited in practice, wearing a blue non-contact jersey. Barring a setback, he should be able to play Sunday.
If Celek cannot play, Ross Dwelley could see more snaps with the offense, along with his normal special teams work.
49ers practice report
Did not practice
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (calf)
LB Mark Nzeocha (groin)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
OT Joe Staley (not injury related)
TE Garrett Celek (concussion)
C Weston Richburg (knee)
LB Malcolm Smith (achilles)
CB K'Waun Williams (knee)
DE Arik Armstead (hand)
Rams practice report
Did not practice
RB Todd Gurley (knee)
S Lamarcus Joyner (ankle)
OLB Matt Longacre (illness)
RB Justin Davis (shoulder)
Things haven't been going great for the 49ers early in their Week 3 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi's Stadium, as they turned the ball over four times in the first 18 minutes.
But at least Kyle Juszczyk came to play.
The 49ers fullback had two highlight-reel plays during the first half, the first was a diving catch on a 22-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo.
The next time Juszczyk touched the ball, he made new Steeler Minkah Fitzpatrick feel it.
Can your fullback do this? (Considering some teams choose not to carry a fullback in the year 2019, the answer is no.) Regardless, it's good to see Juzszcyk show he can do more than lay the boom when blocking.
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The 49ers trailed 6-3 at the half
SANTA CLARA — Newly enshrined 49ers Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens is known for being outspoken, and that did not change as he dished on embattled receiver Antonio Brown.
Owens is friends with Brown and noted how he would like to talk to the former Raiders receiver about his current situation. Owens himself has had a plethora of controversial situations unfold publically during his time in the NFL, and knows his experience could be valuable to Brown moving forward.
“I would love to talk to him personally,” Owens said. “We all go through life and we are going to make mistakes. They are going to be things that we look back upon. I am sure he will get to that point in his life but he has to do what’s best for himself. I understand to a degree what he’s doing and what’s going on with him.”
Owens repeatedly reacted emotionally as an NFL wideout and knows how the media machine works. While he was openly supportive of Brown, T.O. explained that if the two receivers do have a conversation it will remain between them.
“If I share anything with Antonio it will be in private,” Owens said. “Antonio is a good friend of mine it is unfortunate what is going on. I will say the guy is innocent until proven guilty just even with everything that has transpired with him.
“Things keep coming out and by public opinion, they are automatically going to consider him guilty without due process. Other than that, that’s all I can say. That’s a friend of mine and anything and everything that happens with him I wish him well.”
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It remains to be seen if the new 49ers Hall of Famer will be able to get through to Brown, but there might not be anyone better qualified than Owens.