49ers

49ers-Vikings inactives: Dee Ford, Adam Thielen to play in NFL playoff game

49ers-Vikings inactives: Dee Ford, Adam Thielen to play in NFL playoff game

It's playoff time in the Bay Area.

After missing the final three games of the regular season due to an aggravation of a hamstring injury during the 49ers' Week 14 win in New Orleans, defensive end Dee Ford will be active for San Francisco in Saturday's divisional-round clash with the Minnesota Vikings.

Ford was expected to be active, but the team maintained that he would be a game-time decision throughout the week.

For Minnesota, wide receiver Adam Thielen was questionable this week after being cleated in the ankle during practice, an injury Thielen initially feared was much worse. The talented wideout also will be active for Saturday's game.  

The 49ers announced Friday that linebacker Kwon Alexander would be activated off injured reserve and play in Saturday's playoff contest, although the team indicated he likely wouldn't be in on every snap.

Just about every NFL player is facing some form of injury at this point in the NFL season, but both Thielen and Ford will persevere and take the field at Levi's Stadium.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Vikings]

Here are the full inactives for both teams:

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 had officially lost Super Bowl LIV to the hands of the Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they'd be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who enters free agency, was part of a play that could have possibly been a game-changer for San Francisco. It was an overthrow by Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter. Sanders was already upset about it when approached by the media following the loss, but his teammates want him back. Especially pass-catcher Deebo Samuel.

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

Manny, 32, laughed at the fact that he was "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 did, however, embrace the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team. Whether it was music-related or not, he liked the loose vibes of the locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo noticed that and knows he wants that back for the team's quest for another Super Bowl next season. 

Jeff Wilson Jr. explains why 49ers' running backs are egoless, tight knit

Jeff Wilson Jr. explains why 49ers' running backs are egoless, tight knit

The 49ers found the perfect answer for a running back by committee approach in 2019. There wasn't one star in the rotation, yet they had the second-most rushing yards in the NFL with 2,305. 

They all have the same thing in common: At one point or another, each of San Francisco's running backs have been counted out. They all have an underdog's mentality. And yet, they're all extremely unselfish. 

"In our room, if you check our pasts, all of us have a similar background," 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. said Wednesday morning to Steve Wyche on NFL Network's "NFL All Access." "We all come from an undrafted past where we had to take the back road. And all that helps us because we know what each other's going through. If one person's going through it, then one person's been through it.

"And for me, I'm just now entering into it. All those guys have been through the same similar situations, so we feed off each other. I feel like that alone has helped our bond to become stronger." 

Wilson went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. Raheem Mostert, the 49ers' leading rusher, went undrafted in the 2015 draft. Same goes with Matt Breida in 2017. 

Tevin Coleman (third round in 2015) and Jerick McKinnon (third round in 2014) were the only running backs in the 49ers' film room who once were drafted. McKinnon has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries, but Wilson still mentioned him among the group. 

Wilson played in 10 regular-season games in 2019 and rushed for only 105 yards, however, he scored four rushing touchdowns, good for third on the team. He also scored one receiving touchdown, and had a 20-yard reception in the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

[RELATED: 49ers have solid running backs, but group lacks something]

While Wilson is a part of a deep running back group, he's using a message from Mostert to stay motivated. Mostert took him to breakfast when Wilson first joined the 49ers and told his younger teammate, "It's gonna be a long road. You just gotta keep your head down and know what you're capable of on the inside and never let nobody deter you from that, and you'll be fine."

That seems to be the message throughout the 49ers' running backs. So far, the perseverance has paid off for this group.