Center Jonathan Goodwin will be in the spotlight tonight, as the Steelers will use parts of the gameplan employed last week by the Cardinals to try to harass 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
The 49ers have the home-field advantage Monday night against the Steelers, and the organization is taking measures to ensure the 49ers own the home-crowd advantage, too.
Left tackle Joe Staley received full clearance and is expected to play in the 49ers' game Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source told CSNBayArea.com late Sunday.
With a 42-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints kept the pressure on the San Francisco 49ers, as the teams vie for the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Steelers might find it easier to try to beat the 49ers through the air. The 49ers have not allowed a rushing touchdown all season, but are 19th in the NFL against the pass. Will Pittsburgh try to run regardless?
The talking is over, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh met the media Saturday for the final time before Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It will be Monday Night Football bereft of the best linebackers as 49ers' Patrick Willis is expected out with his hamstring injury, joining the Steelers' James Harrison who is suspended.
Having lined up as a starter for every game the previous two seasons, Shawntae Spencer entered training camp atop the 49ers' depth chart. Several injuries later, and he finds himself fourth in line.
The 49ers' offense has been terrible in the red zone, but the 49ers' defense has allowed just 10 touchdowns in 28 red zone trips for a league-best 35.7 percent. Opponents have also settled for 13 field goals.
After missing practice Thursday, neither linebacker Patrick Willis nor left tackle Joe Staley participated in individual drills at the beginning of practice Friday. Their availability for Monday night remains unknown.
After carrying the ball just 10 times in the 49ers' Week 14 loss at Arizona, Frank Gore was thought to be injured. Insider Matt Maiocco spoke with the 49ers' all-time rusher on Friday.
Steelers LB James Harrison's one-game suspension was upheld for his illegal hit against Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last week. Harrison will miss the Monday night matchup vs. the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
Although his playing time is at an all-time high, tight end Delanie Walker hasn't caught a pass in his last four games. "I'm a blocker this year. When you get good at it, they tend to use you at it."
Frank Gore said early Thursday that he felt fine. And the 49ers' practice participation report supported his claim, as the club reported that their star running back went through the entire practice.
Patrick Willis did not participate in practice Thursday, but Matt Maiocco saw him lightly rehabbing the strained hamstring that kept him out of last week's loss.