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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers entering NFC title game vs. Eagles in good health

Jan 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM--

Entering Sunday's playoff matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers listed only two players as inactive due to injuries. They were quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and cornerback Ambry Thomas.

Garoppolo is recovering from a broken foot suffered during Week 13. Thomas is dealing with an ankle injury. Last week, head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn't optimistic about the chances of Garoppolo returning for the NFC Championship Game.

"I'd be surprised, but I think it depends on how this whole weekend goes and stuff," Shanahan said. "But I think it's an outside chance."

The coach added that Garoppolo has a better chance of suiting up for the Super Bowl, assuming the 49ers make it past the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. However, it's unlikely that Garoppolo would supplant rookie Brock Purdy, who has now won seven consecutive games as San Francisco's starting quarterback. The veteran would likely serve Purdy's backup if he is made available.

Thomas also has a chance to return in the playoffs.

"I think there's a chance he could come back next week too," Shanahan told reporters. "I don't think we have to now, but he wasn't an IR candidate, so I think he has a chance."

Following Sunday's 19-12 win over the Cowboys, the only in-game injury Shanahan mentioned was Charles Omenihu's oblique injury that forced the defensive end to briefly exit. However, Shanahan didn't sound overly concerned about the setback.

Running back Christian McCaffrey revealed he is still dealing with a calf issue, but not one serious enough to hold him out of action.

"I was fighting but made it through; made it through great," McCaffrey said after Sunday's game before confirming his calf has been bothersome for some time.

The running back added, "Nothing bad. All good."

At this point in the season, it might be difficult to find any player on a team still fighting in the playoffs that isn't at least a little banged up. Everyone is facing the best opponents right now. McCaffrey's calf is certainly nothing that will keep the star player from participating in his first conference championship game. The running back is eager to start preparing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

"It starts now," McCaffrey told reporters. "The prep starts now, getting your body back, ready to go. The most important thing is Sunday. It feels good to win this one. Obviously, we've got more life. The prep for next week starts now."

McCaffrey finished Sunday's game with 35 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts while adding six receptions for 22 yards.

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