The Niners dispatched with the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 23-17 on Wildcard Weekend, but the victory was not won absent what might potentially prove a steep price. One of San Francisco’s top defenders, linebacker Fred Warner, suffered an injury late in the game that has put his status in question for the matchup against Packers this coming Saturday night.
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Warner sustained an ankle injury that kept him off the field for the Cowboys’ final drive, which ended in a controversial clock runout near the Niners’ 20-yard line. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the injury following the win on Sunday, January 16.
“Shanahan says he thinks Fred Warner’s ankle injury is similar to the one he sustained earlier in the year, and that sounds like good news for the 49ers,” David Lombardi, Niners reporter for The Athletic, reported after the game. “Warner would be able to return next week if that’s indeed the case.”
Shanahan’s spin was optimistic, but if the Niners’ linebacker is hampered even a little it will be a severe blow to San Francisco when they travel to Lambeau Field to meet the best team the in the NFC.
Warner Not The Only 49ers Player to Sustain Serious Injury Sunday
Warner was not the only prominent member of the Niners’ defense to succumb Sunday to an injury that could threaten his ability to play against the Packers next weekend.
Nick Wagoner, Niners reporter for ESPN, added news about Warner’s condition while also discussing a head injury suffered by San Francisco defensive lineman Nick Bosa, which knocked the elite edge rusher out of the game against the Cowboys in the first half.
“#49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said DE Nick Bosa will go in concussion protocol this week,” Wagoner wrote on Twitter. “LB Fred Warner will have further imaging done on his ankle when team returns to the Bay.”
Bosa went down just before halftime after he was held while rushing quarterback Dak Prescott. The hold did not directly cause the injury, but Bosa was tripped up and ran into the lower body of teammate D.J. Jones at the end of the play. The collision caused Bosa’s head and neck to snap backwards in what looked on video like a possible whiplash effect.
Bosa’s father gave an update on his son’s condition when he spoke after the game to reporter Jennifer Lee Chan, of NBC Sports.
“Just spoke to Nick Bosa’s dad who shared that his son was doing fine even though he missed the second half of the game with a concussion,” Chan reported.
Packers Favored To Beat 49ers, Advance to NFC Championship Game
Even with a healthy Warner and Bosa, the Packers were always going to be favored to beat the Niners Saturday.
Green Bay opened as 4.5-point favorites in the game, per Tipico Sportsbook. That spread is likely to grow if it is confirmed that either of the Niners’ top defenders appear unlikely for the game at Lambeau Field.
The Packers defeated the Niners in San Francisco by a score of 30-28 back in Week 3 of the regular season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 23 of 33 passing in that contest for 261 yards and 2 TDs, while Green Bay running back Aaron Jones rushed for 82 yards and 1 TD on 19 carries.
The game between the Packers and 49ers will kickoff at 7:15 p.m. central standard time on Saturday, January 22.