NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


  • 49ers OT Trent Williams said he injured his elbow on the sixth snap on January 2nd against the Texans and continued to play through the injury. Williams will not require surgery: “I gritted through it and paid the price later.” (Cam Inman)
  • Williams said it was tough watching his teammates fight for their season with him unavailable: “It was tough, going down 17-0, me, I took a lot of it personally because I thought if I didn’t have a stupid injury, I could be helping the team. I don’t know if it would have made a difference but it sucked watching your brothers fight for the season.” (Inman)
  • Williams expects to play Sunday with his sprained right elbow. (Eric Branch)
  • 49ers DE Arden Key said the team’s culture is competing for championships every season, and believes they have the ability to do it in dominating fashion: ‘That’s the culture around here, they want to get to the championship every year. I say we like to do it the dirty way, the hard way…Sometime we should be blowing people out of the water. That’s the culture, get to the big ’ship every year.” (Inman)
  • 49ers OC Mike McDaniel believes QB Jimmy Garoppolo is playing at a career-high level. “We’re seeing the best football Jimmy has played. His teammates feel it, you feel it, the fans feel it. To his credit, it’s his reps in the system, cutting it loose and teammates playing well around him.” (Inman)
  • McDaniel said they’ve focused on getting WR Deebo Samuel more touches within their offense. “We learned this year, ‘Hey, this guy can handle more in our system and we can find different ways to get him the football,’ because he’s truly special in doing so.” (Inman)


Cardinals QB Kyler Murray says he’s going to “cherish” the opportunity to play in an NFL playoff game. 

“As a competitor, this is as big as it gets. This is the playoffs,” Murray said, via “This is what you dream of. This is what you live for. This is what you play for, the opportunity to go win a Super Bowl. There’s no shying away from it. This is something you dream about as a kid. To be able to be in this situation now and to be in it, it doesn’t get much better.

“I eat, breath and sleep football. To be in this situation, I’m excited about it. There’s no fear. There’s no nerves about playing at a high level. You’ve just got to go out there and execute the plays and be yourself. I cherish this moment. I understand, and I’m excited for it.”

  • Cardinals DL J.J. Watt saw things go well in practice this week and is now trending towards playing in the first round of the playoffs. (Ian Rapoport)


  • Rams HC Sean McVay said that DB Taylor Rapp remains in concussion protocol. DB Darious Williams is “pushing through” a shoulder injury, though he was able to log a full practice today. (Lindsey Thiry)
  • McVay said he’s remained in touch with DB Eric Weddle, though the subject of him returning to the team wasn’t discussed until the past couple of days. Weddle’s role remains TBD for Monday night’s game. (Thiry)
  • Rams RB Cam Akers spoke emphatically about the team’s training staff when discussing his return from a torn Achilles. Akers was able to return in under six months: “To do something that’s never been done is a blessing.” (Jourdan Rodrigue)
  • Akers said he feels 100% and understands why some may be skeptical of that. He’s eager to get back on the field and prove what he can do. (Thiry)
  • Weddle has stayed in shape and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to the team for their upcoming playoff run: “Even though I haven’t been playing football, I’ve been training like I’m playing football,” Weddle says. “This is by no means me having an itch, it’s just the opportunity of a lifetime.” (Thiry)
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler mentions that people around the NFL are talking about the possibility of Vic Fangio potentially joining Sean McVay in Los Angeles. Fowler isn’t sure how this would work, especially with Raheem Morris doing a good job as defensive coordinator. However, it could be a contingency plan if Morrie gets a head coach job.

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