<
>

Joe Staley 'pretty optimistic' he'll play in season finale

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Like the rest of the league, the San Francisco 49ers didn't have an official injury report on Tuesday, but that didn't prevent left tackle Joe Staley from providing one of his own after the team's traditional practice session.

Staley, who has missed the past three games with a hamstring injury, has avoided injured reserve because of his and the team's belief that he could play again before the season ended. Based on the progress he made Tuesday, that appears to be a very real possibility as the 49ers begin preparation for Sunday's finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I went through a warmup session at the beginning then got out there and did some team stuff, so I’m pretty optimistic I’ll be able to go this week," Staley said.

The Niners have missed Staley's steady presence, especially over the past few weeks when injuries have struck hard along the offensive line. Zane Beadles first stepped in for him before having to move to center after an ankle injury to Marcus Martin, and then right tackle Trent Brown flipped to the left side for last week's win against the Los Angeles Rams.

As one would expect for a player who started 92 consecutive games before finally missing one, Staley has not been too pleased with his inability to be on the field the past three weeks.

"If I’m healthy, I’m 100 percent playing," Staley said. "It just sucks sitting out. I’ve prided myself on being available to the football team every single week and had a nice little streak going there for awhile. So it’s kind of a bummer to sit out, especially with a hamstring injury. It feels good now, so I’m ready to go."

It doesn't hurt matters that the final game comes against a Seattle team that has beaten the Niners six consecutive times and always offers Staley and the Niners line a tough test.

"It’s a football game," Staley said. "It’s against anybody, I’m ready to go against anybody, and I get jacked up to play against anybody."

Martin and guard Andrew Tiller also did some work on the side before Tuesday's practice. The Niners will have their first injury report of the week on Wednesday.