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The Niners are hoping the injury bug will bite somebody else in 2021. Several key players went down and their return is a big key for the optimism in San Francisco. The schedule is doable and there are enough pieces set to make a playoff run.
Jimmy Garoppolo has missed 23 out of the last 48 games and that is a huge concern. The 49ers took a gamble by using the third pick in the 2021 draft to pick Trey Lance who attempted only 318 passes in his entire college career while going 17-0 at run-oriented North Dakota State. He is their guy for the future. The running back group signed Wayne Gallman in free agency and drafted Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell to add depth. The receivers include Deebo Samuel and Brandon Alyuk. Superstar tight-end, George Kittle is back after missing half of the season with a sprained knee and a fractured foot. Before he was hurt, he had already caught 48 passes. The offensive line resigned Trent Williams who the Kansas City Chiefs went after but he stayed on the west coast.
The defense will be tons better if DE Nick Bosa can recover from a torn ACL suffered in week 2 of 2020. They also lost Dee Ford to injury as well. Fred Warner was an All-Pro at linebacker and he had 125 tackles. The secondary drafted Ambry Thomas in the third round and Deommodore Lenoir in the sixth to fortify the back end of the defense.
Must Wins: Indianapolis, Arizona, Atlanta, Houston, at Detroit, at Philadelphia, at Jacksonville, at Cincinnati
Toss-Up Games: Green Bay, Seattle, LA Rams, Minnesota, at Arizona, at Chicago
Probable Losses: at LA Rams, at Seattle, at Tennessee
Summary in Two Sentences: The Niners need a full season out of Garoppolo without injuries if they are to make a run at the playoffs. Their injured players need to be able to bounce back and play at the level previously and if all of this happens they could win this division.
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