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Rams seek revenge in 49ers rematch

{ }(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The 4-6 San Francisco 49ers are heading to Southern California this week to take on the 7-3 Los Angeles Rams.

The team resumed practice on Wednesday following their Week 11 bye.

The Rams are starting to put the league on notice with their defense. Last week Los Angeles’ secondary took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and dominated. Tampa Bay’s quarterback Tom Brady was held to 216 yards with 62.5 passer rating. The Rams defense leads the league in fewest yards per game at 291.9 and second in fewest points allowed.

This will be hard for the Niners to overcome as the team faces an abundance of injuries, including without their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.

In 2020, back up quarterback Nick Mullens has thrown six touchdowns, six interceptions and has a passer rating of 89.1.

“He’s had some good spots and rough spots,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I think some games he’s played at a very high level but anytime you put a quarterback in there who hasn’t had two weeks in a row with the same week of receivers that’s been a huge challenge as it would be for CJ or Jimmy. It’s a little unfair to judge the quarterback on how they’ve been each game in terms of stats and score.”

Shanahan adds in order for the team to get better, there needs to be some continuity.

“You really just take one week at a time,” Mullens said. “Every game’s a new game every game’s a different game. That’s how you have approach it and get better every day. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worst. As a player if I just focus on getting better then I’ll put my team in the best place to win.”

San Francisco’s defensive tackle JaVon Kinlaw was removed from the COVID-19 list Friday, allowing him to return to action this weekend. Kinlaw joins defensive lineman Arik Armstead and center Hroniss Grasu, who were also removed earlier in the week.

The players who remain on the list and threaten their availability against the Rams are wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, left tackle Trent Williams, defensive lineman D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis and linebacker Joe Walker.

Shanahan said the only player to be potentially removed off the list by Sunday is Trent Williams.

One player still pending the green light to make a return is All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman. Sherman injured his calf during the season opener. Shanahan told reporters Wednesday, "If Sherm is ready to go, he'll be back to his spot. But in no hurry to do that."

"We've got a number of guys who have been playing well while he's been out," Shanahan said. "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.”

When the 49ers faced the Rams in Week 6, San Francisco’s defense held Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff to 198 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a 72.0 passer rating. Although the team facing the Rams then is different now, both sides still have a lot to prove. Jared Goff is coming off a win against the Bucs, but it was an uneven performance. He threw for over 270 yards, three touchdowns and threw two interceptions. Goff has thrown an interception over the course of the past three games.

Following San Francisco’s practice on Friday, wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been removed from the injury report and is expected to play on Sunday.

Shanahan adds the team will activate running back Raheem Mostert and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. in time for Sunday’s game.

“(Both) Got better each day, we’ll put them on the active roster but they’ll be questionable going into the game.”

Following the bye week, “It’s been a challenge,” said Shanahan “Everyone’s getting used to Zooming The biggest challenge was having the week off and knowing how much we had to do in order to get crisp. Guys wanted to get work in, but we were just too low on guys.”

“It’s about going to work and believing in our guys. We know we’re going against a good team You never going into a game thinking you have one Our guys are excited to play Sunday.”

The Rams are coming off a short week as they took on the Bucs for Monday Night Football and canceled practice on Friday due to two players testing positive for COVID-19.

Los Angeles currently sits at the top of the NFC West while San Francisco 49ers remain at the bottom.

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