The San Francisco 49ers (7-4) Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins (8-3) has lots of layers to it. San Francisco and their No.1 rated defense will pay host to the league's third ranked offense led by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Both teams are riding win streaks of at least four games, and come Sunday something's got to give.
And if that wasn't exciting enough, this will be the first meeting between head coach Kyle Shanahan and his former offensive coordinator and current Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. The two first worked together in 2006 during their time with the Houston Texans under Gary Kubiak.
"It's what we expected. He's doing a great job with his personnel," Shanahan said. "Those two receivers they have, the speed they have and the good football players they are, combined with the speed of Raheem (Mostert) and the way that (Dolphins Tua Tagavailoa) quarterback is playing, Tua is playing at an extremely high-level."
Defensive lineman Nick Bosa feels similar about the strides McDaniel has taken in his first season as a head coach.
"To come in first year, get that quarterback playing the best ball he's played... and defense, they have a lot of talent," Bosa said. "I'm sure he wouldn't have gone there if he didn't know there was a good shot they could be good. He's done an amazing job."
The 49ers will also be going head-to-head with several players that were suiting up for San Francisco as recently as five weeks ago. The list of former San Francisco players includes the running back tandem of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. and wide receiver Trent Sherfield. Wilson Jr., who was sent to Miami in exchange for a fifth round draft pick at the trade deadline, continues to be a highly regarded player in the 49ers locker room. Despite the competitive nature of meaningful December football, his return to Santa Clara is highly anticipated by his former teammates.
"It's definitely a little different, but nothing but love for those guys," tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "Jeff Wilson is one of the best teammates I've every had. To lose him obviously hurt... It's the way this business works. I'm excited to see him again, excited to see all the guys we've played with."
"It's going to be fun. We've gone up against those guys a lot," linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. "They (Mostert and Wilson Jr.) know us, and we know them. It's going to be a matchup that is fun to be a part of, so we can't wait to see those guys."
Injury Updates from Wednesday's Practice
A total of four players sat out of Wednesday's practice due to injury. Those players include: offensive lineman Spencer Burford (ankle), running back Christian McCaffrey, running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) and defensive lineman Charles Omenihu (knee).
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is still working back from separate foot and ankle injuries, was a limited participant for his second-straight practice. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (knee), who Shanahan said was "sore" from a big hit that resulted in a roughing the passer call on Sunday, was a full participant.
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