The San Francisco 49ers resumed practice on Wednesday following their Week 11 Bye. While the team aims to receive several reinforcements back heading into Sunday's divisional match against the Los Angeles Rams, the team could be without even more starters due to COVID-19 protocols.
On Wednesday, the team announced Arik Armstead and Hroniss Grasu have been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, however, six players remain, including Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, Javon Kinlaw and D.J. Jones, threatening their availability against the Rams.
"We'll see if we have a chance to get them back at the end of the week," Kyle Shanahan said. "We're not guaranteed that. So, we've got to be smart with the practice squad guys that we use today for practice squad and for normal reps because if those guys don't come back, those guys are going to be the guys playing the game.
"I'm not counting on it. But I'm hoping."
While the 49ers will have to wait out the potential return of several starters, Deebo Samuel and Tevin Coleman returned to practice this week. Samuel suffered a hamstring injury in the 49ers final drive of the Week 7 contest against the New England Patriots. Coleman was placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a sprained knee in the 49ers Week 2 win over the New York Jets. The running back returned in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks, however, reaggravated the same knee in the first half of the contest. Both were limited participants during Wednesday's session.
Additionally, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Richard Sherman are potential candidates to be activated off of Injured Reserve this week. Mostert and Wilson Jr. are both nursing ankle injuries that placed the running backs on the short-term IR list. Meanwhile, Sherman has been working his way back from a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since the season opener. All three returned to practice on Wednesday and their availability for Sunday will be further assessed as the week progresses.
"If Sherm is ready to go, he'll be back to his spot. But in no hurry to do that," Shanahan added. "We've got a number of guys who have been playing well while he's been out. And we don't mind easing him back in either. But that'll be decided with how he looks in practice these next three days."
Finally, nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams was served a two-game suspension on Tuesday for violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances. On Wednesday, the league rescinded the suspension due to potential issues with testing procedures. If Williams is clear of the suspension, he still isn't expected to return for several weeks. The corner has been working his way back from a high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 9 and, according to Shanahan, is "a few weeks away" from returning.