The San Francisco 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 18. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, January 8. The Cardinals are out of playoff contention, while San Francisco took home the NFC West title. They currently sit in the No. 2 spot in NFC standings with a chance to overtake that No. 1 seed and the bye that comes along with it.
Players resting for 49ers
The 49ers will have the top seed in their sights if the Giants beat the Eagles. The Giants are starting a quarterback who has never thrown a pass in the NFL, while the Eagles have Jalen Hurts, so it seems highly unlikely that will actually occur. If the Vikings beat the Bears and the 49ers lose, the Niners will fall to the third seed.
When asked if he would rest starters ahead of the playoffs, head coach Kyle Shanahan said, “We’ll see how it plays out and we’ll see what the situation is and I know one thing we would love to be the one seed, but right now we got the two seed and we want to make sure we at least stay the two seed. In order to do that, we need to win.”
G Aaron Banks (ankle, knee), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), DT Kevin Givens (knee), LB Dre Greenlaw (back), and CB Ambry Thomas (ankle) are all out. DT Arik Armstead (foot, ankle) and DT Javon Kinlaw (illness, knee) are listed as questionable on the injury report.
Players resting for Cardinals
Aside from Kyler Murray, the Cardinals are missing quite a few players as their season wraps up. DE Zach Allen (hand), WR Robby Anderson (back), LB Zaven Collins (calf), RB James Conner (knee, shin), CB Antonio Hamilton (hip), WR DeAndre Hopkins (knee), QB Colt McCoy (concussion), and CB Marco Wilson (neck) are all designated as out on the injury report. LB Victor Dimukeje (illness), DT Leki Fotu (shoulder), CB Josh Jackson (hamstring), and LB Tanner Vallejo (knee, wrist) are all questionable.
The Cardinals really do not need or expect to win this one. David Blough will start at quarterback with an offense of backups surrounding him. The Cardinals currently have the fourth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.