The LA Rams face healthier 49ers roster. Or are 49ers playing possum?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Slight of hand, or sheer coincidence? The LA Rams once more will face a huge influx of 49ers players who are suddenly ‘better’ to face the Rams

The LA Rams seem to bring out the best of the San Francisco 49ers. That goes double for their medical staff, who always seems to have a wave of healthy 49ers reactivated just before facing the Rams. The first time, the uncertainty of playing enshrouded four key 49ers players.

We know that the 49ers benched quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo early against the Miami Dolphins, citing a lingering injury, only to play him at full strength against the Rams. The 49ers were able to get RB Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel healthy enough to face the Rams in the first encounter as well.

Coincidence or playing possum?

Now, he we go again. Only this time, it’s nine players. What an odd coincidence, isn’t it? Or is it? Is it a game of playing possum, a deceptive tactic to promote a mirage of an injured team that is truly much healthier and rested than  presented? The 49ers simultaneously activated three player from IR, two from COVID-19/IR, signed one from the practice squad, and elevated three offensive linemen as COVID-19 replacements.

NBA teams have created ways to justify sitting valued veterans in games they feel are non-competitive in order to have players at their peak to play in games where the outcome is less certain. Is that what is happening here? Are the 49ers keeping players on the injured reserve list beyond the time required simply to have them fully rested to face the LA Rams?

How well prepared are they?

Well, if you are thinking that these players may be active, but are not ready, think again. The likelihood of the late report of their availability is a facade. While the official announcement was made on Saturday, November 28, there is no doubt that they’ve been practicing for this game.  Each player will be ready for the Rams, so that means that the Rams will need to be ready for them.

The 49ers will not have star tight end George Kittle on the field for this one. Nor will they have Jimmy G throwing the football. So the 49ers offense will be passing the ball to wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, and once more running the ball via RB Raheem Mostert.

Pity us, we’re not well

To maintain the ‘we’re not healthy’, the 49ers limited practices to walk-throughs on all days but Wednesday. To maintain the facade, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan stated that  he believed there was an outside chance Williams would be activated. A day later, Voila! Williams was activated.

Next. 5 LA Rams emergency LB signings from NFL Free Agency. dark

While you could expect gimmick plays and gadgetry on the field, It feels very much like the 49ers have taken deception to their injury reports as well. As with every tactic used in the NFL, the only way to make the 49ers abandon this strategy is to make them pay for it.  Let’s hope for a huge win by the Rams. Otherwise, we’ll see the 49ers suddenly activate nine players to face the Rams a day before game day over and over again.