The Thanksgiving matchup with the Seattle Seahawks may be getting easier for the San Francisco 49ers.
Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is currently nursing an elbow injury that he sustained in the loss to the Los Angeles Rams this past Sunday. Smith exited the game for a stint before coming back in for the final drive of the game.
"They're taking a look at it but they pretty much know what's going on there," head coach Pete Carroll said Monday on the 710 Seattle Sports radio. "It's just see how soon it settles down. Like I said, it's a good sign that he's functional so that's not the issue, so it's just how sore he is. He'll make it back. I would think so. The challenge couldn't be any harder. … He's going to play."
Smith being able to come in for the final drive is reason for optimism on Seattle's end. However, it could have been just the adrenaline and whatever other remedies the Seahawks' training staff gave to Smith. During his postgame press conference, Smith was asked if his elbow was in pain and he confirmed that it was. Like Carroll said, Smith needs the soreness to dissipate by the time Thursday comes around. Should Smith not manage to be active, then backup Drew Lock will be in line to start.
The Seahawks could also be without starting running back Kenneth Walker III. The 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year exited the game against the Rams with an oblique injury in the second quarter and never returned. Between Smith and Walker, it looks like Walker is the likeliest to be missing in action against the 49ers.
“Kenny got an oblique strain that was legit,” Carroll told reporters. “He couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t move hardly with it.”
Seattle will turn to their backup running back Zach Charbonnet who they took in the second-round of this year's NFL draft. So, the 49ers will be getting a less than healthy Smith or backup quarterback, and will be facing a rookie running back. Facing the Seahawks in Lumen Field is always tough for the 49ers, but these injuries are making the matchup easier.