Nick Mullens had one of the most impressive debuts for a quarterback in league history last week, and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding whether he can get anywhere close to replicating that performance against the Giants.
The 49ers are hosting the Giants for a Monday night showdown, and they’ve had extra time to rest given that their game against the Raiders was on Thursday.
49ers Week 10 Injury Report
The 49ers have combatted numerous injuries since the season began, and this week is no different as they look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
There were four players who did not practice on Thursday: linebacker Reuben Foster, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, left tackle Joe Staley, and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt.
Staley’s absence was not injury related, so it appears that his status for the game against the Giants isn’t being threatened by health.
Foster is dealing with a hamstring injury. He did not play in the game against the Raiders, and his absence is always strongly felt when he’s not on the field.
Despite having played in just six games this season, Foster is tied for the team lead in tackles for loss and tied for fourth in total tackles.
If Foster isn’t able to go this week for the 49ers, it’s going to be even more difficult for them to try to contain Saquon Barkley.
Garcon returned to action last week against the Raiders after missing the Week Eight game against the Arizona Cardinals. He’s currently dealing with a knee injury.
Garcon had a good showing against the Raiders, as he scored his first touchdown with the 49ers while hauling in three catches for 55 yards.
Mullens showed good chemistry with Garcon, connecting with him on the opening drive touchdown and targeting him more than any receiver over the course of the game.
It’s important for a young quarterback to feel as comfortable as possible, and Garcon serves as a very reliable target for him.
If Garcon isn’t able to play, it’s going to make it harder for Mullens to be able to build upon his extremely impressive debut last week.
Tartt is dealing with a shoulder injury. He has played in just six games this season and missed the game last week against the Raiders.
The 49ers need their secondary at full strength up against a Giants passing game that features the explosive Odell Beckham, who’s always capable of huge performances.
Eli Manning is leading a passing offense that ranks sixth in the league in completion percentage and ninth in yards per game.
Manning has thrown just eight touchdowns in eight games this season, though, and ranks just 22nd among qualified quarterbacks in passer rating.
Manning is the type of guy who can catch fire any game, though, and with weapons like Beckham, Barkley, and Sterling Shepard alongside him, it’s not a stretch to say he could have a big game.
The 49ers have given up the fourth most passing touchdowns in the league, and are tied for second to last in interceptions.
Manning is looking at this pass defense that has given up the seventh highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks and sees a very favorable matchup, especially if Tartt doesn’t play.
Kittle and Richburg Limited Participants
Richburg missed week eight against the Cardinals, which memorably ended with a failed snap attempt as the 49ers were trying to tie the game late.
Had Richburg been in the game at that moment, the 49ers could have very well been able to eventually secure a victory over the Cardinals.
The Giants defense ranks second to last in sacks this season and has given up the 10th most rushing yards, indicating a good matchup for this 49ers offensive line.
Richburg really stabilizes the line, and in order for Mullens to be successful, he needs the luxury of a potent run game and to not be knocked around too much by that opposing front seven.
Kittle has emerged as one of the top tight ends in football this season, ranking second amongst tight ends in yards and third in catches.
He’s the most dynamic weapon in this 49ers passing game, and Mullens would really enjoy having him out there to haul in short passes and then use his athleticism to create big gains after the catch.