The St. Louis Rams had almost their entire team at the team’s final official practice of the week on Friday, but several defensive starters, including safety T.J. McDonald (shoulder), linemen Robert Quinn (knee) and William Hayes (thigh) were all listed as questionable for Sunday’s NFC West showdown against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.
The listing of “questionable” means the player has a 50-50 chance of playing in his club’s game that weekend. That could be a potentially huge blow for the Rams, who already know they will be without veteran defensive end Chris Long (knee) on Sunday. Long has been on the sidelines since another player fell awkwardly into his knee during the second quarter of St. Louis’ game against Green Bay back on October 11.
The Rams also have middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (elbow) on this week’s injury report. Laurinaitis is listed as probable for the game on Sunday.
If things went bad for St. Louis, between now and kickoff, that would leave the team with as many as five defensive starters not unable to play in a huge game against the rival 49ers.
Despite the health concerns for Sunday, the Rams had a particularly spirited practice on Friday, which left head coach Jeff Fisher in a good mood about his team as it nears kickoff.
“Well, our practices are upbeat. We have competitive situations where offense competes against the defense at the end on every Friday. So, I mean, that’s all well and good. We still have some things that we’ve got to get done tomorrow.”
Offensively, the Rams could be without running back Tre Mason (ankle) for the second straight week. Mason was listed as questionable as well on Friday’s official injury report.
The news was much tougher and more definitive coming out of San Francisco on Friday, as Niners head coach Jim Tomsula announced to the Bay-area media that his starting running back, Carlos Hyde, would miss Sunday’s game in St. Louis with a stress fracture in his foot.
Hyde, the NFL’s ninth-leading rusher with 470 yards on 115 carries (a 4.1 yards/carry average), told the Bay-area media he suffered the injury in San Francisco’s October 11 game against the New York Giants, which meant the second-year pro out of Ohio State was able to play two full games after hurting himself.
But there was some concern that playing on the Edward Jones Dome turf in St. Louis could worsen Hyde’s injury. So the decision was made to keep him on the sidelines this week.
“All that stuff’s looked into,” Tomsula said. “I’m not in that debate and don’t necessarily have an opinion on whether that affects you different or not. … I don’t know that we ever play on the exact same turf anywhere. It’s like grass; you don’t play on the same grass, either.”
Veteran back Reggie Bush is expected to start in Hyde’s place on Sunday.
St. Louis Rams Injury Report
LB James Laurinaitis (elbow)
TE Lance Kendricks (thumb)
DT Nick Fairley (elbow)
RB Tre Mason (ankle)
DE Robert Quinn (knee)
S T.J. McDonald (shoulder)
DE William Hayes (thigh)
DE Chris Long (knee)
San Francisco 49ers Injury Report
LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder)
QB Colin Kaepernick (hand)
OL Joe Staley (shoulder)
LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder)
S Eric Reid (chest)
OL Erik Pears (back)
WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring)
RB Carlos Hyde (foot)