Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
There are no favors being given to the Philadelphia Eagles. At 0-2-1, they have a quarterback who looks like a shell of himself, just intentionally played for a tie, and are now heading to face the San Francisco 49ers likely without three wide receivers and a pair of corners, while the 49ers will return their top two offensive weapons.
Deebo Samuel, George Kittle return
After two weeks sidelined with an MCL sprain and bone bruise, George Kittle said Thursday he would return this weekend, as confirmed by head coach Kyle Shanahan on Sunday. Also joining Kittle is Deebo Samuel, who suffered a Jones fracture before the start of training camp and has been sidelined since.
His recovery has taken longer than expected, but it is a notoriously tricky injury given the poor blood flow to that area of the foot. It’s the same one which cost Trent Taylor his season last year. With that in mind, he’ll be eased back into game action, given that he’s only had a week of practice.
Shanahan suggested he’d be limited on Sunday.
“We’ve got to be smart with him,” Shanahan said. “I know he’ll be out there. But it won’t be his normal role, that’s for sure.
There’s been a sense that Samuel’s return has brought a positive shift in energy at practice. Shanahan pointed to a “different vibe” having Samuel’s personality back.
“You could feel it on Wednesday,” Shanahan said. “Deebo’ got a personality that everyone gravitates to.”
Nick Mullens, who will start in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, who did not practice this week with a high ankle sprain, pointed to the speed returning to the practice field this week.
“They’re two great playmakers on this football team,” Mullens said. “Even getting on the practice field this week, you’re quickly reminded of their speed. They’re so fast on every practice rep, every game rep. We’re going to love to have their speed, physicality and mindset back on the field this week. Pumped for those guys that they’re finally healthy.”
The game report
For San Francisco, five players are ruled out, with Dee Ford and Jordan Reed to be placed on injured reserve before Sunday. Running back JaMycal Hasty and recently signed (practice squad) nickel corner Jamar Taylor currently seem to be the most likely gameday activations off the practice squad.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)
CB Emmanuel Moseley (concussion)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)
LB Dre Greenlaw (quad)
CB K’Waun Williams (hip)
Philadelphia is down to its bare bones. Three wide receivers are likely to be out, leaving Greg Ward, who’s effectively a store brand version of Kendrick Bourne (undrafted in 2017, slightly shorter at 5’11” but similarly efficient in third downs and making key catches out of the slot despite a lack of straight-line speed), as their most experienced receiver.
WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring)
WR Alshon Jeffery (foot)
CB Avonte Maddox (ankle)
CB Trevor Williams (rib)
WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (calf)
T Jason Peters (foot)