49ers' Tarvarius Moore in NFL concussion protocol after injury vs. Rams

49ers' Tarvarius Moore in NFL concussion protocol after injury vs. Rams

SANTA CLARA -- Tarvarius Moore is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after the 49ers' backup safety and special-teams player injured his head in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 34-31 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night.

Moore was injured while making a big hit on Rams punt returner Nsimba Webster early in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ victory at Levi’s Stadium.

Webster fielded Mitch Wishnowsky’s punt on one bounce and Moore, running at full speed from his spot as the gunner on the left side, immediately hit Webster after a 1-yard return.

Moore was evaluated for a concussion, and he now goes into the concussion protocol. He will not be eligible to play in the 49ers’ regular-season finale against the Seattle Seahawks until he clears the necessary steps in order to return to play.

Moore started the 49ers' first three games of the season at free safety in place of Jimmie Ward. He has turned into one of the team's best special-teams performers, and Moore had one of the plays of the season in the team's victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The 23-year-old is one of four players with injury concerns as the 49ers head into the important Week 17 game, which will decide the NFC West champion. If the 49ers win, they will earn home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. A Seahawks victory would drop the 49ers to the No. 5 seed, and they would open the playoffs with an opening-weekend game at the winner of the NFC East.

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Defensive end Dee Ford is not expected to be available for Sunday’s game due to hamstring and quadriceps injuries. But the club expects Ford to be available for the playoffs, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) and defensive tackle Julian Taylor (elbow) have missed multiple games with their injuries. Each player is considered day-today. The statuses of both players will be determined later in the week.

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

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."

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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.