San Francisco 49ers preview: Jaguars’ pass rush provides unique challenge to surging 49ers

Photo credit: @AroundTheNFL

By Jeremy Harness

Jimmy Garoppolo is now 3-0 as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback, but this week will present a challenge that the last three teams were unable to bring.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are among the league’s leaders in sacks, making the offensive line’s ability to protect him much more important. In addition, even though they have locked up their first playoff spot in 10 years, the Jaguars have the inside track on winning the AFC South and have a chance of getting a first-round bye.

In short, Jacksonville still has a lot to play for as they head into Week 16, when the two teams will meet at Levi’s Stadium on Christmas Eve.

Another huge challenge for the 49ers is Jacksonville’s running attack, which leads the NFL in rushing yards and appears to have returned to full strength at this point. Running back Leonard Fournette, who has had a wildly-impactful rookie season, practiced on Wednesday after sitting out last week’s game with a quadriceps injury.

As for the weekly injury report, that list has grown once again for the 49ers. Cornerback Greg Mabin was completely held out of practice on Wednesday due to a calf injury, while receiver Marquise Goodwin also missed practice, partially due to a back ailment.

Meanwhile, backup running back Matt Breida (knee) was among the ones limited in practice on Wednesday. Safety Adrian Colbert, whom the 49ers are expecting big things from and has shown flashes of his potential this season, is currently in concussion protocol and also has a thigh injury that limited his participation Wednesday.

One player not listed on the injury report is fullback Kyle Juszczyk, but he was recently named on another list. This week, he was the only 49er on the NFC’s Pro Bowl team, and in fact, he was named a starter.

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