Stu Jackson, Rams Staff Writer
After a week off, the Rams are back home again for the third time this month, this time hosting the 49ers in the final 2022 regular season meeting between the two teams. Kickoff from SoFi Stadium on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. pacific time on FOX.
In advance of the contest, here is your First Look at Rams-49er.
Notable 49ers additions
Traded for RB Christian McCaffrey on Oct. 20: A familiar face returns to SoFi Stadium after the 49ers sent their second, third and fourth round picks in 2023 and fifth-round pick in 2024 to the Panthers in exchange for McCaffrey last week. Though McCaffrey arrived in the Bay Area on Friday, San Francisco still had enough time to put together a package of plays involving him for their Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs; it will now have a full week to adjust and add to that package while preparing for the Rams. McCaffrey had eight carries for 38 yards, plus two receptions for 24 yards in his 49ers debut.
Selected RB Tyrion Davis-Price in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft: While the backfield rotation was dominated by McCaffrey and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. last week, Davis-Price appears to be the third back in the rotation even with veteran Tevin Coleman on the active roster. When Davis-Price does line up in the backfield, the Rams should be cognizant of his speed: He ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine this spring.
Top performers in Week 7
QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 25 of 37 passes for 303 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble lost in the 49ers’ 44-23 home loss to Chiefs.
Wilson led San Francisco’s backfield with 54 rushing yards on seven carries; followed by McCaffrey’s 38 rushing yards on eight carries.
TE George Kittle had a team-high 98 receiving yards on six catches plus one touchdown; WR Ray-Ray McCloud (four catches for 65 yards) hauled in Garoppolo’s other touchdown pass.
Defensively, CB Charvarius Ward paced the unit with 10 total tackles, while S Talanoa Hufanga snagged his third interception of the season.
On special teams, K Robbie Gould made all three of his field goal attempts and both of his extra point attempts, while P Mitch Wishnowsky had a 29-yard punt that landed inside the Chiefs’ 20-yard line.
Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams
For the Rams and the 49ers, this week is about McCaffrey, as well as the health of each team and the direction it is trending.
The Rams are no stranger to McCaffrey, of course, but this is the first full week of gameplanning the 49ers will have with their new offensive weapon, given McCaffrey arrived on Friday. Sunday’s game against the Chiefs gave a sample of how the 49ers could potentially deploy McCaffrey, but probably isn’t representative of the full scope of possibilities. That uncertainty will likely create extra work for the Rams from a defensive preparation standpoint.
As for injuries, fullback Kyle Juszczyk suffered a broken finger against the Chiefs and will miss Sunday’s game, according to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, and likely won’t return until after their Week 9 bye. Meanwhile, wide receiver Deebo Samuel is day-to-day with a hamstring strain and linebacker Dre Greenlaw is day-to-day with a calf injury, so their statuses will be worth monitoring.
On the other hand, the Rams are getting some reinforcements with wide receiver Van Jefferson, center Brian Allen and defensive back Troy Hill all returning this week.
Collectively, they’re all interesting variables heading into Sunday’s game.