- San Francisco faces Green Bay on Saturday (January 22nd, 4:30 pm ET) in an NFC Divisional Round matchup
- Jimmy Garoppolo, Fred Warner, and Nick Bosa are all expected to play, as is Jaire Alexander
- See below for the injury reports for both teams and how potential key absences could affect the outcome of this playoff game
The Green Bay Packers were the best team in football during the regular season, and you could argue their roster is stronger heading into the Divisional Round than it’s been all year.
Green Bay will host San Francisco on Saturday (Jan. 22nd, 4:30 pm ET), and the Packers Injury Report indicates they’ll have multiple Pro Bowl players back in their lineup.
The Niners meanwhile, dodged a bullet. At one point, they were in danger of not having stud defenders Fred Warner and Nick Bosa, as well as starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the field on Saturday. All three through, have made significant progress in their respective injury recoveries, and their absences from the 49ers Injury Report means they’ll play against the Packers.
49ers Injury Report
As of January 21st.
Despite leaving San Fran’s Wild Card game versus Dallas early due an ankle injury, Warner was adamant that he was going to play in the Divisional Round. The stud linebacker was limited in Tuesday’s practice, but got in full work load on both Wednesday and Thursday.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 21, 2022
Same goes for Garoppolo, who’s been battling thumb and shoulder injuries. Early reports this week suggested he could miss the Divisional Round, but he’ll be under center on Saturday.
Bosa on the other hand, suffered a concussion versus the Cowboys, and his early week practice status wasn’t as encouraging. He missed on Tuesday, and was limited on Wednesday, but was a full go on Thursday and was cleared to play on Friday afternoon.
Warner and Bosa are arguably the two most important defenders on the Niners’ roster. Without them this game could have gone sideways in a hurry. Prior to their absences against Dallas, the Cowboys were struggling to even rack up first downs let alone points. Once they both left, Dallas was able to move the ball and nearly completed an improbable comeback.
Fred Warner is such a special player
There aren’t many linebackers in the league that can carry CeeDee Lamb from the far hash to the numbers on a crossing route pic.twitter.com/xeLz5StXBz
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) January 19, 2022
Elsewhere on the injury front, backup defensive lineman Jordan Willis and cornerback Ambry Thomas are questionable, but expected to be available.
Packers Injury Report
On the Green Bay side, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is questionable, but likely to play, while All-Pro corner Jaire Alexander is off the injury report.
Bakhtiari missed the first 16 games of the season recovering from a torn ACL, but returned in Week 18 against the Lions. He played just over 40% of the snaps in that game and will be one of the keys to not only keeping Aaron Rodgers clean, but also bolstering the Packers rushing attack.
Assuming they're all good to go tomorrow, the #Packers will have seven players returning to action who missed considerable time due to injury: Smith and Mercilus, WR Randall Cobb, T Billy Turner, T David Bakhtiari, CB Jaire Alexander and C Josh Myers. https://t.co/4zBHk6l2yb
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) January 21, 2022
Alexander on the other hand, hasn’t played since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 4. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest graded cornerback last season, and will charged with trying to lock down San Fran speedsters Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on the outside.
Highest-graded CB in 2020:
🔒 Jaire Alexander- 90.7
He could be coming back tomorrow 👀 pic.twitter.com/fl0hQalgcs
— PFF (@PFF) January 22, 2022
As if those additions weren’t significant enough, the Packers also activated Pro-Bowl pass rusher Za’Darius Smith and linebacker Whitney Mercilus from IR, paving the way for them to return against the Niners as well.
Smith hasn’t played since Week 1 due to a back injury, while Mercilus has been out since Week 10 with a torn bicep.
Saturday will mark the return of Randall Cobb, who tore his abdomen in Week 12. Cobb told the media he could have played in Week 18 if it wasn’t a meaningless game, so he should be 100%. His presence will be key because Green Bay is unlikely to have wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He hurt his back in Week 18 and is considered doubtful.
Also expected back for the Packers are starting center Josh Myers, and right tackle Billy Turner.
How Could Injuries Affect 49ers vs Packers Betting Lines
The 49ers vs Packers line opened Green Bay -5, and while it’s moved a hair in the Packers’ favor, none of the news from the final injury report is going to cause any further movement.
The only news that could have sent this line further towards Green Bay would have been if Jimmy G was ruled out. That possibility however, seemed doubtful once Wednesday rolled around.
While the availability of guys like Warner and Bosa on San Fran’s side, and Bakhtiari and Alexander on the Packers’ side strengthens the quality of their respective teams, it was never going to cause a significant change in the final point spread.