Medical Watch / Time To Get Healthy
December 18 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers escaped the Packers game with just a few more injures. Jeff Garcia sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter. That was by far the biggest concern after the game. But Garcia is probable to play against the Cardinals.
Derek Smith suffered a stinger on his 13 tackle day. He along with Bryant Young who injured his thigh is probable too. Jamal Robertson however, is questionable with a sore hamstring.
Steve Mariucci has a tough decision to make with regards of the current state of health of this team. The first possibility is try and finish on the upswing with an 11-5 record. Try to use that momentum for the playoffs. The second possibility would be to get his team some much need rest and treat the final two games as meaning nothing - which at least of the first round of the playoffs is exactly what they mean.
"Probably so," said Owens when asked if he'll be cheering from the sideline next week. "I'll probably talk to the coach about that." Owens could very well have company on the bench, including starting quarterback Jeff Garcia. Tim Ratty would certainly benefit from the play time too.
``We will look at our health situation, we would like to win the next game, but we are not going to be crazy and make guys play that shouldn't.'' said Coach Mariucci regarding the health of his team.
Some players like Zack Bronson, Ronnie Heard, and Saleem Rasheed, havenít played in so long that they may like to get back into hitting some people before the playoffs. It may however be wiser to give them the extra two weeks to fully mend.
Other candidates to get some rest before the playoffs include: Bryant Young, Eric Johnson, Kevan Barlow, Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, Eric Heitmann, Ahmed Plummer, Tony Parrish, and John Keith.