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    Final 2021 injury report for Cowboys-49ers wild-card matchup

    In what many call the game to watch Wild Card Weekend, the 49ers visit Dallas to rekindle one of the NFC’s most storied playoff rivalries. Few things are as important as health when it comes to playing football through January, and only one Cowboy on the active roster will be unavailable for the showdown with San Francisco.

    As they had been trending all week, on Friday key players like lt tyron smith, rb tony pollard and s jayron kearse were designated as ready for the first round of the playoffs. Only linebacker Keanu Neal was ruled out of the contest, citing chest and elbow problems suffered in the Week 18 win over Philadelphia.

    Reading: 49ers vs cowboys injury report

    neal has played 61% of dallas’ defensive snaps this year, and his absence leaves the cowboys relatively thin at linebacker behind first-team pro micah parsons and leighton vander esch.

    luke gifford replaced neal, playing a career-high 16 defensive snaps in the team’s most recent competition. Francis Bernard was activated from the reserve/COVID list this week, and is the only other linebacker on the 53-man roster.

    smith missed weeks 15 and 16, returning for week 17 against arizona, only to land on the covid list before the season finale. He’s listed on the injury report with knee and ankle ailments, but head coach Mike McCarthy said he’s not at all concerned about his availability. Smith’s performance, along with the rest of the Cowboys’ offensive line, will be absolutely critical when they take on one of the best defensive fronts in the league, featuring Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and company.

    Lightning to thunder from Ezekiel Elliott in the running game, Pollard’s return rounds out the Cowboys’ offense, giving them an on-field threat that few teams can match and few defenses can contain.

    Pollard is having a career year in virtually every statistical category, including his 5.5 yards per carry, which ranks second in the NFL among running backs. The former Memphis speedster is capable of scoring almost every time he touches the ball, as evidenced by his 100-yard kickoff return for a score on Thanksgiving.

    Pollard only missed Week 18 to rest his foot, but hadn’t had a full practice from Dec. 2 through this week. mike mccarthy noted that pollard looked his usual self, stating, “tony looks great. I think the time off definitely helped too. Tony looks like he’s back to 100%.”

    See also: Spiritual Meaning of Seeing a Blue Jay and Cardinal Together

    cowboys rb tony pollard was in full practice all week for the first time since december. 2 plantar fascia rupture. pollard rested last saturday vs eagles. mike mccarthy: “tony looks great. I think the time off definitely helped too. …Tony looks like he’s back to 100%.”

    — michael gehlken (@gehlkennfl) January 14, 2022

    kearse, one of the unsung heroes of cowboys, returned from the reserved/covid list this week and is also ready for sunday.

    Currently third on defense in snaps this year, but leading them in tackles with 101, Kearse has exceeded all expectations fans had for him entering the year. He has even relied on the first-year cowboy to wear the green dot on his helmet, which means he handles communication with Dan Quinn for defense. The former Clemson product, who can play traditional safety and also close to the box at linebacker to help mitigate Neal’s loss. kearse is a crucial piece of this dallas team that needs all hands on deck to make the race as desired.

    te sean mckeon (neck) and cb nahshon wright (staff) were also limited or absent earlier in the practice week, but neither carried an injury designation as of Sunday.

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    As far as the Cowboys’ opponents go on Sunday, the 49ers are poised to have most of their core players ready for the wild card, but they’re down to four decisions at game time.

    See also: Alternate training sites to open 2021 season | Braves

    The following players will be questionable for the 49ers on Sunday:lb azeez al-shaairs talanoa hufanga p mitch wishnowskylb marcell harris

    everyone else is full. trent williams is not listed on the injury report. that’s huge.

    — nation of nine (@ninersnation) January 14, 2022

    lb azeez al-shaair (knee), s talanoa hufanga (knee), p mitch wishnowsky (concussion) and lb marcell harris (achilles) are questionable for san francisco this week.

    Al-shaair, Hufanga and Harris have all played significant defensive plays this year, and Wishnowsky is the club’s starting kicker, so it will be important to monitor these injuries as Sunday approaches.

    four key 49ers, s jaquiski tartt (groin), lb dre greenlaw (groin), rb Elijah Mitchell (knee) and lt Trent Williams (elbow) were all full participants in Friday practice and have no injury designation after to be limited or absent earlier this week. Like the players returning from the Cowboys, these four are critical pieces to San Francisco’s success, especially the first-team pro tackle at Williams.

    See also: Alex Smith Is Grateful for His Encounter With Aaron Donald: &039It Was Like Ripping a Band-Aid Off&039

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