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San Francisco 49ers could catch break with Cardinals’ injuries

The San Francisco 49ers are barely hanging in the NFC playoff picture. Although they could get some help on Sunday afternoon.

Right now, the San Francisco 49ers simply need to win.

At 3-4, the 49ers are sitting in third place of the brutally competitive NFC West. They’re a half-game ahead of the Seattle Seahawks but hopelessly behind the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Therefore, a date with the Cardinals seems like bad news, but the timing could be correct.


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Unfortunately for Arizona and its star quarterback Kyler Murray, the 7-1 Cards might be without their top gun on Sunday as he’s questionable with an ankle injury. Murray, who didn’t practice this week, was injured last Thursday night in a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

On Friday, general manager Steve Keim talked about the situation and while he didn’t rule Murray out, his comments certainly sounded like a team that won’t push Murray onto the field this weekend.

“I know Kyler can play, he extremely tough, and I don’t think there are any questions in our organization internally about his mental makeup or his willingness to play through anything. We have to be smart whether he is going to play or not and think about the big picture. We have to make sure we don’t re-aggravate something or do something that is going to hurt us later in the season. I know we will do the right thing and go through the checks and balances process and make sure the right decision is made.”


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In addition to Murray, the Cardinals will also be without defensive end J.J. Watt, who is likely done for the year with a shoulder injury. Finally, there’s All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who aggravated a hamstring injury against Green Bay and didn’t practice any time this week. He’s also listed as questionable.

For San Francisco, all these Arizona ailments means an opportunity to get back to .500 before taking on the Rams next Monday night at Levi’s Stadium. After that, winnable games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings, with the latter at home. If the Niners are going to get back int the mix for a wild card berth, it begins this weekend.

The season less than halfway complete, San Francisco can still change its course and reshape its destiny. To do so, the 49ers have to handle business in their own building against the wounded Cardinals.

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