Week 9 Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ersby MJ Hurley November 5, 2020 0 comments
COVID-19, contact tracing and injuries, oh my. The once-heralded 2019 NFC Championship Game rematch between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers is now a game of injuries and positive COVID-19 tests depleting the depth of both teams.
Green Bay Packers
Starting with the visiting Packers, AJ Dillon tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, a test which also put running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list due to contact tracing. Additionally, defensive backs Kevin King, Will Redmond, and Vernon Scott will all be out as well. Christian Kirksey and Allen Lazard are available to be activated off of injured reserve, but the Packers have declined to comment on their status prior to game time.
The Packers may also be without Aaron Jones, who is a game-time decision, according to Head Coach Matt LaFleur. If Jones, Williams, and Dillon are all out, the Packers will be down to speedster Tyler Ervin and practice squad running back Dexter Williams.
Even with the challenges offensively, Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is confident that Green Bay can produce on the short week. “We’ll have a good plan for whoever gets to get those opportunities. But it’s pretty simple what we’re trying to do on offense, is be explosive, find ways to get the ball to 17, get the ball to our guys in space,” said Rodgers.
“I think as a competitor you’re always excited about the challenges. You’d love having your guys in there at full strength, for sure, but there is that fun challenge of going in there without some of those guys and trying to find a way to win.”
San Francisco 49ers
For the home team, the 49ers will be hurting across the board on Thursday. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle were placed on injured reserve this week. Garoppolo may be out for the season, and Kittle’s timetable is between three and eight weeks before his return. Additionally, Trent Williams and Brandon Aiyuk were deemed close contacts of Kendrick Bourne, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and shut down the San Francisco facilities the day before Thursday Night Football.
The 49ers will only have one wide receiver who was on their Week 1 roster, and are down two of their three running backs from that week, with only Jerick McKinnon standing in Week 9. Backup JaMycal Hasty will also play a big role in the offense after Green Bay allowed Dalvin Cook to run wild in Week 8.
Rodgers and Davante Adams will be facing a 49ers defense that does not include Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, and Nick Bosa who are on Injured Reserve. After two straight big performances from Adams, the Packers are clearly in a better position to take advantage of injuries and sidelined players this week.
Date: November 5, 2020
Start Time: 5:20 PM pst
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
TV Info: FOX/NFL
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: GB -7.5 (-110) | SF +7.5 (+110)
Moneyline: GB (-200) | SF (+160)
Over/Under: O 48.5 (-110) | U 48.5 (-110)
First and foremost, betters should stay away from this game. With the volatile aspect of the game, many injuries, and the rivalry between these two teams, this is a scary game to bet on. If anything, look for the under and hope that the 49ers cover a 7.5 spread.
It is hard to pick against Rodgers given the state of injuries in the 49ers’ locker room. The result of the game will likely lie on the shoulders of Rodgers. He is healthy, unlike the 49ers’ defense. San Francisco will try and recreate the Minnesota Vikings’ game plan from Week 8 and hope that McKinnon can support Nick Mullens in the most creative offense attack Kyle Shanahan has ever created in his tenure as San Francisco’s head coach.
Both teams will continue to play without fans, despite California recently allowing limited fans in sporting events. Green Bay and San Francisco are being cautious, which is wise, given the state of COVID-19 in the NFL right now. Regardless if there are fans in the stands or stars on the field, any matchup between LaFleur and Shanahan will not disappoint.
Final Score: Green Bay Packers 24, San Francisco 49ers 17
Check us out on our socials:
Follow MJ Hurley on Twitter @Mjhurley47
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images