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Rodgers Calls Injured Bosa, Warner ‘Game-Wreckers’

49ers linebacker Fred Warner outlined the game plan to stop Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, then called it "easier said than done."

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The San Francisco 49ers hope to get two key defenders back for Saturday’s playoff game at the Green Bay Packers.

Standout linebacker Fred Warner played 59 of the 72 snaps against Dallas before suffering an ankle injury. And Pro Bowl defensive end Nick Bosa played 23 snaps before dropping out with a concussion.

“Hope” is probably an understatement for Warner. Speaking to 49ers beat reporters before Tuesday’s practice, Warner said the MRI turned out “great” and he has no doubt he’ll be ready for Saturday’s divisional showdown.

He called it an aggravation of an injury originally sustained in Week 14 at Cincinnati. He played every snap in that game and every snap the rest of the regular season.

“When I did my ankle in Cincinnati, I still played the rest of the game even when it happened,” said Warner, who was limited participation on Tuesday. “But yeah, it was a re-aggravation. I think that's why it might felt worse this time around – just re-hurting-an-open-wound kind of situation.”

Bosa’s projection for Saturday is a bit more iffy because of the unpredictable nature of head injuries and the short week that’s ahead. Speaking to reporters on Monday, coach Kyle Shanahan sounded cautiously optimistic that Bosa would be ready for gametime. He did not practice on Tuesday.

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Warner, a Pro Bowler and All-Pro last season, led the 49ers with 137 tackles this season and has 504 in his four NFL seasons. After missing most of last season with a torn ACL, Bosa finished fourth in the NFL with 15.5 sacks this season.

“Those guys are incredible players, All-Pro caliber players, but they’re a very deep team,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Over the years, have overcome a lot of injuries at specific positions, and that’s given them depth to fall back on should some of their super-stud players go down. But they’re both game-wreckers and fantastic players. I’ve known Fred since he was coming into the league, a lot of respect for him, how he plays, the way he goes about his business. Has exceptional talent with great instincts, as well. Nick is a formidable player – as formidable as you’re going to see in the league. He demands attention.”

Rodgers demands attention, too. He was excellent in Week 3. Beyond his 261 yards and two touchdowns, he led the Packers on a game-winning drive that started with 37 seconds remaining.

“Listen, we all know how amazing he is, and again, another MVP-type caliber season,” Warner said. “I think the biggest thing is with whatever our game plan's going to be, we've got to be sticky in coverage, we've got to make sure we're getting pressure up front and we've got to work together as a unit to throw him off his balance a little bit. But that's easier said than done, of course.”

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance will be asked to emulate Rodgers on the practice field to get the defense ready for the winner-takes-all Round 2.

“We need Trey to be very aggressive, let it rip,” Shanahan said on Tuesday. “Hopefully, if he does make some mistakes in practice, our defense will catch it and make him pay. But we need him to be aggressive in everything he does because Aaron doesn't miss many of those opportunities when they're presented to him.”