- Jack Frauenhofer ’22
Recoveries From Injuries
With a series of injuries clouding the niners season-opening games, the 49ers hope to bring back Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert after George Kittle recovered from a knee sprain and made a splash in Week 4, with 183 yards and a touchdown off of 15 catches. Garoppolo sustained a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 against the New York Jets and is expected to play this week, however Mostert’s recovery is more doubtful from his sprained MCL injury in Week 2.
If both players play, it could be a tremendous addition to the Niners’ offense and a bounce back from their tough loss against the Eagles. However, it is more likely only Garoppolo will recover and be playable, which would be a huge replacement after Mullen’s struggle in their Week 4 loss. The 49ers can still play Mckinnon, who’s been great for them as a starting running back amidst Mostert’s and Tevin Coleman’s injuries and has kept the 49ers dominant run game alive. Deebo Samuel is also expected to return against the Dolphins, which gives the Niners just another explosive option.
After this game against the Dolphins in Week 5, the 49ers begin a long, tough stretch of games against top NFL teams this season, including division rivals Seahawks and Rams, who both could prove challenging to the vulnerable, injured Niners. Therefore, before embarking on a tough stretch of games, a win against the Dolphins, who are currently rebuilding, would be clutch to gain momentum and put their record over .500.
Elite Passing Game
Against a struggling Dolphins’ defense with no dynamic playmakers, the addition of Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel to Kittle and rookie Aiyuk should be able to put up immense numbers. The rookie Aiyuk has proved his worth as WR-2 next to Deebo and Bourne after an impressive last two games with his speed and explosiveness. If the 49ers hope to win this Sunday, a dominant passing game must be established in correspondence with their run game, and Garoppolo is the key piece they need to execute that plan in Week 5.
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