The San Francisco 49ers clinched a playoff berth many weeks ago, but true to form, will be battling all the way through the last game of the regular season in hopes of securing the No. 2 seed. They are the heavy favorites against the hometown St. Louis Rams, but will be without some key players in Week 17.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the Niners are expected to be without three significant cogs of their team. Receiver Kyle Williams sustained a concussion in last week's game and has not been medically cleared to play as of Saturday night. Also dealing with a head injury from a brutal hit is Delanie Walker, whose fractured jaw was recently wired shut. He is not expected back in time for any playoff games.
Also questionable for Sunday's game is receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who is still dealing with ankle injuries. The Niners will make a decision on him 90 minutes before kickoff. Since Williams and Ginn usually handle duties on kick returns and punt returns, the 49ers will need to make some adjustments against the Rams. Reggie Smith is expected to handle punt returns, while rookies Chris Culliver and Kendall Hunter will split duties on kick returns.
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