Packers Will Face 49ers Defense Returning 2-Time Pro Bowler

Nick Bosa, Aaron Rodgers

Getty Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers sacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers activated a couple top defenders on Friday, while their playoff opponent this weekend activated one of their own.

Nick Bosa, a two-time Pro-Bowl edge rusher for the San Francisco 49ers, cleared concussion protocol on January 21. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein posted the news online Friday afternoon.

“The #49ers have cleared DE Nick Bosa from the concussion protocol, which means he’s good to go Saturday against the #Packers,” Silverstein tweeted Friday.

Bosa entered the league’s concussion protocol following a collision with a teammate in the first half of the Niners’ Wildcard win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. He left the contest in the second quarter and did not return.

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Bosa started all 17 games for the 49ers this season, tallying 15.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 32 quarterback hits to complement 4 forced fumbles and 52 tackles.

Packers Get Healthy Ahead of Playoff Premiere Vs. 49ers

Za'Darius Smith IR

GettyZa’Darius Smith, of the Green Bay Packers, reacts during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 12, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Packers provided some good injury news of their own on Friday, also on the defensive side of the ball.

Silverstein posted updates on Green Bay’s activations from the injured reserve list (IR) one day ahead of the team’s opening playoff game against San Francisco.

“#Packers have activated OLBs Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus off injured reserve, meaning they will play vs. the #49ers,” Silverstein tweeted. “To make room they released DL Jack Heflin and CB Isaac Yiadom. Both could be back on the practice squad next week.”

The outside linebackers are not going to be the only additions to the Packers roster who have been absent from the lineup for a significant portion of the season.

Wide receiver Randall Cobb, who has been out with a core muscle injury since late November, is also expected to be on the field Saturday. Likely to join him are All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and rookie center Josh Myers, both of whom played for the first time in months against the Detroit Lions in Week 18. Also expected back for the Divisional Round are Pro-Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander and offensive lineman Billy Turner.

How much do the Packers benefit from extra days off against banged up 49ers?PFF's Doug Kyed talks with Heavy's Stephanie Otey to preview the NFL Playoffs. #Packers #49ers #NFL #Playoffs2022-01-22T00:59:51Z

Packers Have Tough History Against 49ers in Rodgers’ Era

The Packers eked out a win against the Niners in Week 3 of the 2021 regular season, traveling to San Francisco and escaping with a 30-28 victory that jump started a seven-game win streak that ultimately landed Green Bay with the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs.

While the Packers got the best of the 49ers in the regular season, the playoff matchups between the two teams have not gone Green Bay’s way during quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ tenure with the team. Rodgers is 0-3 in his postseason career against the long-time NFC rival.

Most recently, the Niners defeated the Packers 37-20 in the 2019 NFC Championship Game. San Francisco also bested Rodgers and Green Bay by a score of 23-20 at Lambeau Field during Wildcard Weekend back in 2013. Finally, the 49ers were successful the first time they met the Packers in the playoffs with Rodgers under center back in 2012, defeating Green Bay 45-31 in the Divisional Round.

The quarterback has a chance to break that streak when the Packers host the 49ers at Lambeau Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. central time.

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