Trent Williams missed the entire week of practice with a sprained elbow.
Anytime a player misses a week of practice prior to a game it usually leads to a doubtful or inactive status.
But Kyle Shanahan announced Friday at his press conference that the 49ers have ruled Williams as questionable. On the surface, it looks crazy to think he would play without practicing all week while nursing a sprained elbow.
However, this is where giving him a week of rehab pays off. Williams does not need to practice right now. A player of his stalwart caliber will be raring to go with or without practice. Now, the 49ers have given Williams the best chance to play on Sunday thanks to the rest.
Williams’ availability is a top priority for the 49ers against the Rams.
While everyone is fussing about the starting quarterback for Sunday, the real concern for a player's availability is Williams. Whether Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo gets the start doesn't matter if Williams is out. Both will be facing an increased amount of pressures in their face. Rookie Jaylon Moore is the likely player to get the start should Williams not go.
“You always want the best tackle in the league out there, so you don't feel as good if he can't go out there," said Shanahan. "But Jaylon Moore's got some opportunities this year, he's played some good football. And we also have Colton McKivitz, who hasn't got a chance this year, but last year he got a start at guard versus the Rams, so he'd be an option also.”
Moore or Colton McKivitz will be in for a long day on Sunday should Williams not manage. Even if Williams is only at 75 percent, he is better than any of the two players behind him. I would imagine that Williams will play. He'll at least give it a try and play through the pain.
This is a game where players force themselves in a game regardless of injury. The 49ers season is on the line and they will have a decreased chance of victory with him inactive. He is their best player afterall. The run game will taper off along with the pass protection, so having Williams out there is of utmost importance.
And I fully expect him to be.