NFL PREVIEWS |

Preview: 49ers at Giants


Aldon Smith makes his season debut with his team in the midst of a playoff push as the San Francisco 49ers visit MetLife Stadium to face the reeling New York Giants on Sunday. The 2012 NFC Defensive Player of the Year returns from his nine-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policies just in time for San Francisco, which saw Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis placed on injured reserve this week with an ailing big toe. The loss of Willis has been eased in part by the emergence of rookie Chris Borland, who recovered a fumble in overtime that led to the 49ers snapping a two-game skid with a 27-24 victory over New Orleans last week.

While San Francisco stopped the bleeding with that victory, New York is hemorrhaging after yielding 350 rushing yards en route to its fourth straight loss - a 38-17 setback to Seattle last week. Missing in all four of those contests was Rashad Jennings, who has been sidelined with a knee injury and watched his team average just 83.3 yards per game on the ground in his absence. "That's what I am here for," Jennings said. "If I am on the field, there is no hesitation and wondering what if - I am picking up where I left off."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: 49ers -3.5. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE 49ERS (5-4): After being held in check in his three previous games, Frank Gore rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Saints and faces a Giants team that is ranked dead last against both the run (144.7 yards per game) and total defense (404.9). Colin Kaepernick could also use the boost after throwing for just 210 yards versus New Orleans - with 51 coming on a desperation heave to Michael Crabtree with 49 seconds left in regulation to set up Phil Dawson's game-tying 45-yard field goal. Crabtree made waves this week after openly questioning his diminishing role in the offense, calling himself "a third-down receiver. I mean, I'm like the third option. So I come in and I do my job."

ABOUT THE GIANTS (3-6): Odell Beckham Jr. continues to do his job in a positive manner, following up his eight-reception, 156-yard performance versus Indianapolis with seven catches for 108 yards last week. Eli Manning's confidence in the rookie wide receiver has calmed the waters after an erratic start to the season. After throwing five interceptions in his first four contests, Manning has thrown eight touchdowns against just one pick over his last five games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. San Francisco WR Anquan Boldin has 26 receptions for 332 yards and three touchdowns in his last four games.

2. New York LB Jacquian Williams (concussion), who leads the club with 78 tackles, was sent home Wednesday from the team facility and is not expected to play versus the 49ers.

3. The Giants have won five of the last six meetings, with a 20-17 overtime victory in the 2012 NFC Championship game included in the mix.

PREDICTION: 49ers 20, Giants 17

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MetLife Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.
Capacity: 82,566

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Last Injuries

New York Giants

  • Sam Beal

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Beal has decided to sit out the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal matter, and he has been entered on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Leonard Williams

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Williams has been placed on the on the active Non-Football Injury list with an injured hamstring. There is currently no timetable for his return to action.

  • Nate Solder

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Solder has been designated for the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after announcing that he will sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal reason.

  • Josiah Tauaefa

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Tauaefa has wound up on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain how long it will take to return to full health.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Jake Brendel

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Brendel has hit the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after letting the team know that he has chosen to sit out the entire 2020 season.

  • Shon Coleman

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Coleman has ruled himself out for the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal reason. As a result, the team has put him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • D.J. Reed Jr.

    Pectoral
    I-R | I-R

    Reed Jr. has a torn pectoral, and the team has entered him on the active Non-Football Injury list as a result. He is expected to miss the entire season.

  • Travis Benjamin

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Benjamin has decided to sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal reason. He has been designated for the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Richie James Jr.

    Wrist
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    James Jr. is on the active Non-Football Injury list due to a broken wrist, and it is uncertain how much time he will need to heal.

  • Weston Richburg

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Richburg has been placed on the active PUP list as he is rehabbing a torn patellar tendon, and there is no timetable for return.

  • Jullian Taylor

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Taylor will spend an unclear length of time on the active PUP list while healing from a previous torn ACL.

  • D.J. Reed Jr.

    Pectoral
    I-R | I-R

    Reed Jr. has a torn pectoral, and the team put him to the active Non-Football Injury list as a result. He is expected to miss the entire season.