The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have historically played each other toughly, even when the circumstances were less than ideal. It appears Thursday night will present another such scenario for the division rivals, neither of whom has started the season the way it might have hoped. At this point, both teams have losing records, but each is trying to avoid falling to 1-4. Injuries certainly don’t help, and the 49ers lost one of their best for the season when LB Navorro Bowman tore his left Achilles on Sunday. According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, the team is still hopeful that he can provide leadership with his presence in the locker room, but on the field, the 49ers' defense is missing a key component.
On offense, both teams have some key injuries that could impact the result of Thursday night’s game.
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Carson Palmer (concussion; out), quarterback
Palmer was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game when his head ricocheted off the ground. It did not take long for him to be diagnosed with a concussion. Although he made some rapid improvements in terms of how he was feeling, he had not progressed through the various elements of the concussion protocol to the point of being in consideration to play. In fact, Palmer did not make the trip to San Francisco with the team and will stay home to continue with his recovery.
San Francisco 49ers
Jeremy Kerley (ankle; questionable), wide receiver
Kerley sustained an ankle injury in Sunday’s game, and while it did not appear to be serious, the short recovery week is challenging. Kerley was listed as a non-participant for Monday’s practice and a limited participant Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s worth noting, however, that the team conducted only walk-throughs, so the practice reports are just an estimation. After last week’s game, Kerley told reporters he expected to be fine to play Thursday and did nothing to discourage that this week. Still, fantasy owners will want to check pregame inactives to be sure of his status before kickoff.
Vance McDonald (hip; questionable), tight end
McDonald’s status is a bit harder to read, since he did not play last week because of a hip injury. Although he was listed as a limited participant for this week’s practices, those practice reports were just an estimation as the team conducted walk-throughs. If he remains out this week, it would not be a surprise and would offer him an additional 10 days before returning to action. But it’s worth noting that his status Thursday could come down to a game-time decision.