San Francisco 49ers star left tackle Trent Williams plans to play in Sunday’s NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams despite not practicing all week due to an injured right ankle.
The 49ers listed Williams as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but coach Kyle Shanahan is expecting to see the nine-time Pro Bowler on the field. He partly based that sentiment on the fact that Williams was nursing an elbow injury before a Week 18 contest against Los Angeles and still played in the game.
“I feel the same way that I did at the beginning of the week,” Shanahan said of Williams’ availability. “He came out for a walk-through today. Trent’s adamant that he’s going. He was last time, too. I believe Trent when he says that he’s going to do everything he can to play. So, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t.
“But I was surprised last time. I was also surprised he was able to finish the game versus Green Bay. So hopefully, his mindset will be how his body reacts on Sunday, and we know it’ll help us a lot. But if not, we’ll deal with it.”
Williams injured his ankle on multiple occasions during the victory over the host Packers in a contest played on a frigid field. He limped off the field after San Francisco’s last offensive play, immediately before Robbie Gould kicked the winning field goal.
The 49ers also listed running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) as questionable. He was a limited practice participant on Friday after missing workouts the previous two days.
Starting running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) was a full practice participant on Friday and is set to play.
The Rams are expecting to get safety Taylor Rapp (concussion) back after a two-game absence. He was injured in the regular-season finale against San Francisco and is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Receiver Van Jefferson (knee) is questionable, while offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom (chest) is doubtful after not practicing; at all this week.
Veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) is slated to play after missing last week’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Noteboom played well in place of Whitworth in Sunday’s divisional-round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Rams lost both regular-season meetings with San Francisco this season and have lost six consecutive times overall to their division rival. They are hoping for a different outcome this time behind quarterback Matthew Stafford, who never won a playoff game in 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions (0-3) before recording two so far this postseason.
“He believes in himself. He believes in the player that he is and the people that we have on this team,” Rams star receiver Cooper Kupp said of Stafford. “That mindset’s never really changed, and I think that’s a great quality to have as a quarterback.”