The San Francisco 49ers are back at practice after a Bye in Week 9 and remain in the top 10 of the NFL power rankings. As expected, several of the players working through injuries are making good progress healthwise following the week off. On Monday, the team opened practice windows for three players on the Injured Reserve list: running back Elijah Mitchell, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and offensive lineman Colton McKivitz. Mitchell landed on IR after suffering an MCL sprain in San Francisco's season opener; Al-Shaair sustained a similar injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 3 and so did McKivitz during the team's "Monday Night Football" contest versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Additionally, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and wide receiver Jauan Jennings made their return to practice at the SAP Performance Facility on Monday. The trio of players participated in the portion of practice open to media after sitting out of the 49ers Week 8 matchup against the Rams. San Francisco enters the second half of the season at 4-4 and with a perfect 3-0 record in NFC West play. In Week 10, the team will host the Los Angeles Chargers for "Sunday Night Football" at Levi's® Stadium. Since 2002, three of the five matchups between these two teams have been decided by three points or less and two of those games were decided in overtime.
Here's a look at the NFL power rankings from several national outlets:
Around the NFL Writer Dan Hanzus
"Perhaps feeling emboldened after Christian McCaffrey's dominant hat-trick performance against the Rams, the Niners pulled the trigger on a trade that sent starting running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Dolphins in exchange for a Day 3 draft pick. Parting ways with a quality depth piece behind the injury-prone McCaffrey would feel more risky if Elijah Mitchell weren't back on the radar. Mitchell, who is set to return Sunday night against the Chargers after missing two months with a knee injury, could be a starter for many teams. Pairing CMC with Mitchell gives San Francisco one of the most talented backfields in football."
NFL Writer Nick Wagoner on a Non-QB MVP of the First Half of the Season
"Despite missing a game with a groin injury, Nick Bosa has been the Niners' most consistent performer on the team's best unit. He is tied for second most in the NFL in sacks (8.5), is third in pressure percentage (16.3%) and is tied for ninth in pass rush win rate (23%). Bosa is also stout against the run. On a 49ers defense that has been plagued by injury, he has proved to be the one player San Francisco can't afford to lose."
CBS Sports: 10
NFL Writer Pete Prisco
"They come off their Bye with a tough game with the Chargers on Sunday night. They look to carry over their momentum from the week before the Bye when they blew out the Rams."