John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley has his mind set on returning to the football field on Sunday against the New York Giants. The veteran left tackle was a full participant in practice on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and did not appear on the team's official injury report.

"Yeah, I'm playing," Staley said via our friends over at Niners Wire.

Staley suffered a fractured orbital bone beneath his right eye in a Week 8 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. Apparently, the healing process has progressed quicker than everyone anticipated. Staley was not expected to return to the lineup until sometime after the bye week.

"Feels fine," Staley told reporters regarding his injury. "I knew I was playing on like Tuesday, but I didn't know if I was supposed to give it away or anything. I was kind of being a butthead to you guys. But yeah, I'm playing. It's good. I saw the doctor on Tuesday, everything was good."

Staley has been wearing a protective visor on his helmet during practices this week and will likely do so against the Giants. His return is good news for an offensive line that left rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard battered following a rough outing against the Arizona Cardinals.

"It was nice to get him out there this week," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Friday. "I wasn't expecting to get him back at practice. Once he got cleared to practice, it's been good. He's been limited throughout the week. It's his orbital so it's not like I can really watch him and see how he's moving or anything. It's really up to Joe because he knows how his eye feels and we'll talk about that really up to game-time. Hopefully, it will work out, but it's going to be up to Joe and how his eye feels."

Staley has spoken, and it appears his eye feels good enough for him to play.

Only four 49ers players are ruled out for Sunday's game. They are tight end George Kittle (ankle), linebacker Elijah Lee (knee), defensive end Aaron Lynch (calf), and wide receiver Trent Taylor (ribs). Defensive end Solomon Thomas (knee) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (quadricep) are listed as questionable.

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