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FFL: Week 6 | NFL: Week 6

Banged-up 49ers prepare for Giants without Garoppolo

Wed Sep 23 5:05pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) is helped off the field after being injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


Jimmy Garoppolo missed practiced with a sprained ankle and is unlikely to return this week, setting the stage for backup Nick Mullens to possibly make his first start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in nearly 21 months.

Garoppolo was one of several 49ers who went down with injuries in last week's 31-13 win over the New York Jets. He still holds out hope to return this week but coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday he'd be surprised if that happened and expects Mullens to start.

''I know our players believe in him and he'll be fine,'' Shanahan said from the team's base for the week at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.

The 49ers will be missing many key players for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas were placed on injured reserve after tearing their ACLs last week and will miss the rest of the season.

Running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman also sprained their knees in that game, with Coleman expected to miss about four weeks and Mostert hopefully back sooner than that.

The Niners are already without star cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), No. 1 receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) and starting center Weston Richburg (knee) among others.

''We had a lot of guys miss a lot of time last year and for the most part, even though we'd step back in places, other places stepped it up,'' Shanahan said. ''I thought we really handled injuries very well last year. It was tough when you lose a couple of really good players for the year, like Nick and Solly, but all those other guys, you didn't lose them for the year. We've got to see how long we've got to weather the storm without them, but we can do that.''

The injuries last week happened on the same MetLife turf the Niners will play on this week against the Giants. Players complained about the surface and have expressed anxiety about returning to it this week despite assurances from the league that it is safe.

''If you're playing, you better be confident and full speed,'' Shanahan said. ''People that know what they're talking about, the NFL and NFLPA's having people look at it right now. So, we'll go with that. If they don't find anything, you go out there and play.''

The 49ers did get some good news on the injury front with All-Pro tight end George Kittle returning to practice on a limited basis after missing last week's game with a knee injury and cornerback Jason Verrett being a full participant after sitting out the first two games with an injured hamstring.

The Niners also officially signed defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah to a one-year deal and promoted defensive lineman Dion Jordan from the practice squad to fill in for the losses of Bosa, Thomas and edge rusher Dee Ford, who is dealing with a back injury and has no timetable for his return.

''I think a lot of talk outside of the building is a lot about what we've lost but not a lot about the depth and the people we have here on this defense in this building,'' linebacker Fred Warner said. ''I think we're all very excited for this week to go against the Giants and go out and prove that we're the defense that we say we are and that we show on tape.''

On offense, it will be up to Mullens and a revamped backfield to make up for the losses. Mullens started the final eight games in 2018, averaging 284.6 yards passing in those games with a 90.8 rating.

Jerick McKinnon should get a heavy load at running back, along with Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty, who is expected to get called up from the practice squad for the game.

After missing the past two seasons with knee injuries, McKinnon has six carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, along with catches for 20 yards and a score in two games so far this season.

''Jet works like a machine,'' said left tackle Trent Williams, who worked out with McKinnon during the offseason. ''That's why I couldn't imagine him being on the field and not being a breakout player, not being that guy who can carry the load as an every down back. I think he's showing us that, his first time really playing in two years.''

NOTES: Shanahan said he's disappointed about a $100,000 fine from the league for not wearing his mask during the game last week and hopes it doesn't take away from the work the organization has done dealing with the coronavirus. ''I got the message and I will do better.'' ... The Niners signed DL Alex Barrett and RB Austin Walter to the practice squad.

Player Notes
John Brown Oct 19 9:40pm ET

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Gabriel Davis Oct 19 9:40pm ET

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Cole Beasley Oct 19 9:30pm ET

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Stefon Diggs Oct 19 9:20pm ET

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Mecole Hardman Oct 19 9:10pm ET

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Devin Singletary Oct 19 9:10pm ET

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Zack Moss Oct 19 9:10pm ET

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Josh Allen Oct 19 9:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had arguably his worst game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He completed 14 of 27 passing attempts for 122 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. He also added 42 yards on the ground with eight rushing attempts. Allen started off red-hot to begin the season, but hasn't looked the same over the last two weeks. He should be a top tier QB1 for the Week 7 matchup against the New York Jets.

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Darrel Williams Oct 19 9:00pm ET

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Patrick Mahomes Oct 19 8:20pm ET

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Oct 19 8:20pm ET

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Travis Kelce Oct 19 8:20pm ET

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Demarcus Robinson Oct 19 8:20pm ET

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KJ Hamler Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and wide receiver K.J. Hamler (hamstring) could both potentially return to play in Sundays contest versus Kansas City after missing last Sundays outing due to respective injuries, per head coach Vic Fangio. Fant is the more fantasy relevant of the two, having established a considerable rapport with Drew Lock last season. Fant has hauled in five receptions in three of his four appearances this year, combining for 219 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Hamlers first two contests saw him receive 12 targets, which bodes well for his fantasy upside should he ultimately suit up. Check back throughout the week for updates on both players, whose return would knock Jerry Jeudys appeal down a notch.

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David Njoku Oct 19 8:10pm ET

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Tyreek Hill Oct 19 8:10pm ET

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Sam Darnold Oct 19 8:00pm ET

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Alshon Jeffery Oct 19 7:50pm ET

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Darius Slayton Oct 19 7:40pm ET

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Tevin Coleman Oct 19 7:30pm ET

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