San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that star edge rusher Nick Bosa will be cleared to play in a divisional-round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night.
Bosa left last week’s wild-card win at Dallas in the first half with a concussion but has made good progress in his recovery. Bosa returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and then was a full participant on Thursday before the 49ers left for Green Bay.
Bosa is listed as questionable for the game and must clear one final step in the protocol before being cleared to play in the game. Shanahan said it’s “looking good” that Bosa will be able to play against the Packers.
Bosa has two sacks in three career games against Green Bay.
The only other players with injury designations for the game are cornerback Ambry Thomas (knee) and defensive end Jordan Willis (ankle), who are both questionable.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and linebacker Fred Warner made it through the week of practice with no issues after dealing with injuries last week and are good to go.
Garoppolo sprained his right shoulder in the first half against the Cowboys but remained in the game even though he said the injury impacted his throwing. Garoppolo is also dealing with a sprained right thumb that sidelined him in Week 17.
“I think he threw pretty good in the game,” Shanahan said. “He had two throws off and he threw good all week and I thought he threw good the week before. Everyone’s affected by things right now. I think the thumb bothers him more than the shoulder, which he’s gotten used to here the last few weeks. But it’s a challenge, just like a lot of guys are. It is harder at the quarterback position. A number of guys are in that boat. When Jimmy gets out to game day, he’s going to be all right.”
Warner left the game against the Cowboys with an ankle injury in the second half but has been able to practice this week.
Henry expected to play
If Titans running back Derrick Henry returns for the playoffs Saturday, he’ll be running into a Bengals defensive line that is already banged up.
The Bengals had been relatively healthy until last week in the wild-card win over the Raiders.
Stalwart defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for the rest of the playoffs. Edge rusher Trey Hendrickson, the team’s leader in sacks, had been in concussion protocol all week but has been cleared to play.
Defensive end Sam Hubbard has sore ribs, and defensive tackle Mike Daniels left the Raiders game with a groin injury and and likely will be out Saturday. Defensive tackle Josh Tupou is hobbled by a sore knee.
Henry, the 6-foot-3-inch, 247-pounder who was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2020, is expected to return for the game. He’s been out since breaking his right foot on Oct. 31.
“He definitely weighs on you,” Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader said. “He’s a big back, but you’ve got to do your job of not letting him get going out there and put hits on him. Make sure we’re wearing on him just as much as he’s wearing on us.”
Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property after he broke a vacuum and other items during an argument, putting his status for Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Bills in question.
Gay pleaded not guilty Thursday and was expected to be released from jail later in the day.
Police in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., said the 23-year-old Gay was arrested Wednesday night. The total of damaged property amounted to $225, police said.
No drugs, alcohol or weapons were involved and no one was injured, police said.
Gay’s agents, Maxx Lepsettler and Ryan Rubin, said in a statement that Gay was visiting his son when he got into an argument with the child’s mother, who called the police. The agents said that Gay would likely pay a fine and replace the vacuum and “all should be resolved today with no further issues.”
Gay is not allowed to have contact with the child or his mother, who sought a civil protection order, the Kansas City Star reported.
Gay was not at practice Wednesday and those available to speak with reporters deferred all questions about his status for the playoff game to Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who does not speak to the media again until Friday.
Gay, who has made 48 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games this season, spoke about his struggles with mental health earlier this season. Gay said that he was “going through some things, man,” but that he wanted to be an example for other NFL players that keep such issues bottled up by being open and honest about them.
“We’re taught growing up to just hold it in and go on about your day, and keep distractions away,” Gay said. “But I got to the point where I was like, ‘I can’t shake this,’ and I had to tell my coaches, the people that I work with.”
The NFL fined Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott $25,000 for comments he made about the officials following Sunday’s playoff loss at home to the 49ers.
Prescott commended fans at AT&T Stadium when he was told during his postgame news conference that they’d thrown objects at the officials as they left the field.
He subsequently issued a public apology for his remarks.
“I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday,” Prescott wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair.”
Prescott also wrote: “I hold the NFL Officials in the highest regard and have always respected their professionalism and the difficulty of their jobs. The safety of everyone who attends a game or participates on the field of a sporting event is a very serious matter.
“That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry.”
We need to talk
The Bears interviewed Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and longtime NFL executive Reggie McKenzie for their coach and general manager jobs. The Bears fired GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy after going 6-11. They have interviewed several former head coaches to replace Nagy, including Doug Pederson, Brian Flores, and Jim Caldwell, as well as Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus … The Giants seemingly have finished their interviews for a general manager, meeting with 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters on Thursday. Peters was the third candidate to have a second interview for the job that opened when Dave Gettleman retired a day after the Giants finished a 4-13 season. The Giants, who have not made the playoffs since 2016, also had two interviews with Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen and Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles … The Vikings completed their first round of GM interviews by meeting with Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook and Patriots scouting consultant Eliot Wolf. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon also interviewed for head coach.