Arizona Cardinals preparing for a banged-up division rival
The Arizona Cardinals are getting ready to tangle with a San Francisco 49ers squad that has been ravaged by injuries in 2020
In their quest for their first postseason berth in five years, it appears that the Arizona Cardinals may have gotten a break. The franchise’s next opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, will be missing a slew of players when the two teams clash this Saturday. A variety of injuries have taken a toll on Arizona’s division rival, and Big Red is more than willing to take advantage of their foe’s dire situation.
One of the biggest losses that the 49ers have had to endure in 2020 is at the quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo, the 29-year old who was signed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract back in 2018, has missed eight games due to injury this season. Garoppolo suffered a sprained ankle in week two, reaggravated it in week eight and has not played since.
San Francisco was dealt two more significant blows during their week two victory over the New York Jets, when a pair of their starting defensive linemen tore their ACLs. Both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas were lost for the year, and the club’s pass rush has been impacted greatly.
The 49ers were also banged-up during the current campaign on the offensive side of the ball. This past Tuesday, Raheem Mostert was placed on the injured-reserve list with a bum ankle. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, a second-round draft pick in 2019, has been shut down for the rest of ’20 with a hamstring issue.
San Francisco’s secondary will also be missing a pair of pieces when this Saturday’s meeting with the Cards takes place. Cornerback Richard Sherman has been ruled out with a calf problem. Safety Jimmie Ward was diagnosed with a concussion this past week and will also be sidelined.
There are reports that the Niners may be getting an individual back this weekend that’s a huge difference-maker. Tight end George Kittle has been a nightmare for Arizona, and for the rest of the NFL for that matter, since he was drafted back in 2017. The former fifth-round selection out of the University of Iowa may be set to return from a broken foot that’s kept him out since week eight.
While the Cardinals are also dealing with injuries, their worries pale in comparison to what the 49ers have on their plate. Kliff Kingsbury‘s group will be looking to stretch their winning streak to three in week 16. A matchup with a badly-depleted San Francisco squad may be just what they need to make that happen.