Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Talk of Fame’s Clark Judge: Beware the 49ers

Nov 30, 2020 at 6:28 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers may be climbing back into the thick of things after upsetting the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday afternoon. If they manage to pull off another upset victory in a week against the Buffalo Bills, watch out. The defending NFC champions might be ready to make some noise in this final handful of games.

That's what respected longtime scribe Clark Judge believes. He included the Kyle Shanahan-led squad among his list of five things learned around the NFL over the weekend.

The 49ers defense got back cornerback Richard Sherman on Sunday, which was a boost for the unit. While Judge notes that the 49ers are "healthy again," that isn't entirely accurate. "Getting healthy" may have been better wording.

San Francisco did get several players back, though. Along with Sherman, running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. returned. As did wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who exploded on Sunday, hauling in 11 catches on 13 targets for 133 yards. Still, the team is missing key contributors like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle, who will hopefully return down the stretch.

But yes, the Niners are getting healthier. Therefore, there is a reason for optimism.

"The 49ers are healthy again," wrote Judge for the Talk of Fame Network, "and their defense is dominant again – producing four takeaways, scoring a touchdown, and holding the Rams' offense to just 13 points in a desperation victory that could be significant. The reason: With losses by the Bucs and Cards, the 49ers are thinking playoffs again ... and why not? Granted, the schedule is tough (with Buffalo, Arizona, and Seattle left), and they have no idea where they practice and play next. But this just in: They're only a game out of the wildcard picture."

The 49ers are searching for a new home after being blindsided by Santa Clara County's new restrictions, which went into effect today. They include a ban on collegiate and professional contact sports, which means the Niners can't play at Levi's Stadium or practice at their neighboring facility for at least the next three weeks.

The most likely option is the Arizona Cardinals' State Farm Stadium and a facility in the area.

"Now we've got to find another place (that feels safe), so that's where it starts," Shanahan said after Sunday's win. "We need a place that we can feel safe and stay ... so we're going to have to stay in a hotel or somewhere. So, that's where it would start. Second thing, we need a practice field to play on. And then obviously we need a stadium to play in. I'm not going to be that picky, but we need some obvious things that I think are extremely obvious."

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