49ers roster moves suggest Garoppolo to play vs. Rams


LOS ANGELES -- Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is set to play Sunday in the 49ers' crucial regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.

On Saturday, the team made a flurry of final roster moves ahead of the Week 18 game, and promoting quarterback Nate Sudfeld from the practice squad was not among them.

Therefore, the 49ers will go into the game with Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance. Sudfeld was activated a week ago to serve as Lance's backup when Garoppolo was not available to face the Houston Texans in Week 17.

Garoppolo, who is listed as questionable on the 49ers' official injury report with a torn ligament in his right thumb, is expected to start in what is likely a must-win scenario for the 49ers.

The 49ers also activated four key members of the team's defensive backfield on Saturday.

Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley was brought off injured reserve and it expected to return to his role in the 49ers' starting lineup. Moseley has not played since Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks due to a high ankle sprain.

Rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas, who was cleared off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, could start on the other side with veteran Josh Norman as an option, too.

The 49ers activated free safety Jimmie Ward, nickel back K’Waun Williams and reserve cornerback and core special-teams contributor Dontae Johnson off the COVID list. Ward and Williams will play key roles against the Rams' high-powered passing attack.

The 49ers also activated linebacker Mark Nzeocha and recently added cornerback Darqueze Dennard from the practice squad as standard elevations. Linebacker Curtis Robinson was made available to play in Sunday's game as a COVID-19 replacement.

The only 49ers player who remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list is rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

The 49ers have until 90 minutes before kickoff to determine whether players such as left tackle Trent Williams, linebackers Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair and Marcell Harris, as well as safety Jaquiski Tartt will be available to play. Each is listed as questionable.

However, Garoppolo appears to be a sure thing for the 49ers. He returned to limited practice this week.

The 49ers likely determined early in the week that Garoppolo would start on Sunday against the Rams or the team likely would have opted for Lance to take all of the team’s snaps with the first-team offense in practices.

RELATED: Lance benefiting greatly by sharing practice reps with Jimmy G

If the 49ers defeat the Rams, they would clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs. If the 49ers lose, they can still advance to the postseason if the New Orleans Saints lose to the Atlanta Falcons.

The 49ers have five consecutive victories against the Rams, and the club is 32-15 in games Garoppolo has started since he came to the organization in a trade with the New England Patriots in the middle of the 2017 season.

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