The Vikings and 49ers both had to navigate through several injuries in the second half of the 2019 NFL regular season to get to the point of playing each other in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game (4:35 p.m. ET, NBC).
There have been a few questions about the status of key players, returning or otherwise for No. 6 seed Minnesota and No. 1 seed San Francisco heading into the game. Here’s breaking down who’s in and who’s out and what it means for the matchup to determine who advances to next Sunday’s NFC championship game. This will be updated with the official inactives before kickoff.
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Vikings injury report
Out: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee)
Doubtful: S Jayron Kearse (toe/knee)
Questionable: WR Adam Thielen (ankle)
In: RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder), WR Stefon Diggs (illness), RG Josh Kline (elbow), DT Linval Joseph (knee), DT Shamar Stephen (knee), DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (hamstring), CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle/shoulder)
Thielen didn’t practice in the final session on Thursday after suffering a nasty cut that needed attention on Wednesday. He’s expected to play but the team is being very careful with him until game time. He missed six regular-season games with a hamstring injury but returned to become his highly productive self to burn the Saints in the wild-card round.
Cook is ready for another big workload after the busy game in New Orleans and Diggs is good to go after missing practice earlier in the week. The defensive linemen won’t be limited in action. Rhodes keeps playing through ailments but he has had a down season in coverage, regardless.
Vikings of note on injured reserve
WR Chad Beebe, C Brett Jones, DT Armon Watts, OLB Ben Gedeon, CB Mike Hughes
There’s not much to see here except some lost depth. Gedeon was probably the most impactful, and he was a part-time player.
49ers injury report
Questionable: DE Dee Ford (quad/hamstring), T Kentavius Street (ankle)
In: OLB Kwon Alexander (pectoral; activated off IR), RG Mike Person (neck), OLB Elijah Lee (illness)
Ford and Alexander will return to provide a big pass-rushing and pass-coverage boost, respectively, to the 49ers’ front seven. Imposing, hard-hitting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt also practiced all week and will return from his rib injury, which will help with containing the Vikings’ tight ends. With Tartt, free safety Jimmie Ward, cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Emmanuel Mosley and K’Waun Williams, the 49ers’ secondary is at more than full-starters strength to combat a good overall Vikings’ receiving corps.
49ers of note injured reserve
RB Jerick McKinnon, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Trent Taylor, WR Jalen Hurd, C Weston Richburg, TE Garrett Celek, OT Shon Coleman, DE Ronald Blair, DE Damontre Moore, DT D.J. Jones, DT Julian Taylor, CB Jason Verrett
McKinnon going down meant little with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida working together fine to split the backfield work. Goodwin, The team also is fine without Goodwin, Taylor and Hurd with Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne in the top three roles. Without Celek behind George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo are good enough..Ben Garland has been a solid fill-in for Richburg.
The defensive line rotation did take a big hit, especially with Jones, whose absence at nose tackle has weakened the 49ers’ run defense. The fact the 49ers still went 13-3 and are the NFC’s top seed is a testament to their depth across positions.