Running back Brian Westbrook is the kind of player who keeps a defense on their toes, but the Eagles removed any more guesswork about the Pro Bowlers status by ruling him as out on Friday.
Head coach Mike Nolan reacted to the news following his team's final practice on Friday afternoon.
"Even with Westbrook out, I think you find that Correll Buckhalter is a very good back, a very competent back, somebody they believe in. They've used him a lot in the past. It'll give them a chance to maybe active Lorenzo Booker and use him more in the offense. Things like that are things we have to pay a little bit closer attention to, but at the same time, without seeing them on film, it's difficult for the players sometimes to get a real good feel for what type of player they are playing against. So there's a plus and minus to that for us."
Starting corner Walt Harris said he had already expected to see Buckhalter in the game, whether Westbrook suited up or not. The Eagles backup has 30 carries for 114 yards on the year and one rushing touchdown. He also has 10 catches for 83 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown.
"He's definitely a hard running back, he runs the ball well, and understand the scheme of the offense," said Harris.
Also ruled out for the Eagles were Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews, and starting wide receiver Reggie Brown.
"We kind of anticipated the lineman," said Nolan. "As for the receiver, they'll probably get Kevin Curtis back, so it just changes the competition is all."
Curtis hasn't played this year after having surgery in the off-season on a sports hernia, but the receiver took a full week of practice. He's listed as questionable.
The Eagles leading sack leader in DE Juqua Parker is also questionable with a knee injury.
Linebacker Manny Lawson did not practice on Friday and will be doubtful for Sunday.
Linebacker Roderick Green returned to practice after battling a stomach virus this week, is questionable on the injury report, and will be a game-time decision.
Tackle Jonas Jennings did not practice this week and has been ruled out.
Safety Michael Lewis took a full practice and is probable.
By design, linebacker Takeo Spikes and defensive end Justin Smith didn't take a full practice on Friday. Neither player has an injury; the 49ers just opted to rest the two veterans.