The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 on "Thursday Night Football" to clinch the NFC West and sweep the series with their division rivals for the first time since 2011. The team powered through a short week to win their seventh-straight game and will now enjoy a nine-day stretch before welcoming in the Washington Commanders on Christmas Eve.
The extended time between games will allow the team some much needed days of rest and recovery, especially for players currently working through injuries. Following the division clinching victory over Seattle, three players, CB Ambry Thomas (ankle), CB Charvarius Ward (concussion) and WR Danny Gray (hamstring), landed on the team's injury list. Ward, Thomas and Gray all exited Thursday night's contest early and did not return to game action.
Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, the rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who is currently working through separate oblique and rib injuries, came out of the game feeling better than the week leading up to the team's Week 15 matchup. Meanwhile, Ward has entered the league's concussion protocol, and Gray and Thomas will be both be considered day-to-day with their respective injuries.
The extra days will allow for Kyle Shanahan and his team to take the weekend off before turning the page to their next order of business, making a run for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. With a playoff spot secured, the final stretch of the season will be a balancing act for San Francisco.
"You have to be smart. You never just want to stop, you can't lose your edge," Shanahan said. "It's not something you can turn on and off, but at the same time you do need to be smart. It's very important to get home games, so we will do everything we can to do that. But, by not means at the expense of risking someone we shouldn't."
As a final update before the weekend, barring any setbacks, the team expects to open up the practice window for defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw (knee) next week.