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Packers have chance to get well against injury-ravaged 49ers

Ryan Wood
Packers News

GREEN BAY - A year ago, the Green Bay Packers dodged Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes because of a knee injury before their midseason matchup. 

They got even more fortunate this season before their scheduled trip Thursday to play the San Francisco 49ers.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle will miss several weeks because of injuries suffered Sunday. Both left the 49ers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter.

Garoppolo left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and is reportedly expected to miss six weeks. Kittle left with a broken bone in his foot and is reportedly expected to miss eight weeks.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks to the locker room during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

The 49ers have been ravaged with injuries all season. If Garoppolo and Kittle are placed on injured reserve, they would join teammates Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, Solomon Thomas, Ezekiel Ansah, Raheem Mostert and Jordan Reed, among others.

More COVID-19 concerns

Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were late additions to the Packers' injury report Monday as non-participants for non-injury-related reasons. NFL Network reported that both have been identified as "close contacts" of running back AJ Dillon, who tested positive for COVID-19. The league is determining whether they were "high-risk close contacts," which would rule them out for Thursday's game, according to NFL Network.

RELATED: AJ Dillon tests positive for COVID-19; NFL protocols explained

Neither Martin nor Williams has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, as Dillon has.

Meanwhile, the Packers might be getting positive injury developments. Running back Aaron Jones (calf) was projected as a limited participant in practice if the Packers had held practice Monday, after missing the past two games, according to the team's injury report. Cornerback Kevin King (quad), who has missed the past three games, was also projected as a limited participant after having a setback with his injury. The Packers are expected to practice Tuesday.

Right tackle Rick Wagner (knee), safety Vernon Scott (shoulder), safety Will Redmond (shoulder) and tight end Marcedes Lewis were projected as being unable to practice.

Packers early voting

When the Packers saw their 2020 schedule, it could have been easy to overlook the significance of their short-week trip to San Francisco.

Typically, Tuesday is an off day in the NFL's seven-day calendar. Players are not required to enter the building on most Tuesdays, instead prioritizing rest. With the Packers still expected to travel to the 49ers for Thursday night's game despite Dillon's positive COVID-19 test, the team will not take this Tuesday off, instead using it as a practice day to prepare for their game.

That means they'll be working on Election Day.

"We've been pretty proactive," coach Matt LaFleur said, "I guess with our approach in terms of reminding guys how important it is to get out and vote, and talked about it, the short week coming up. Last week we talked about how we're going to be in game mode on Tuesday, that we'll be in the building. However, there is opportunity outside of our meeting times for our guys to make sure that they go vote.

"But I believe, I'm hopeful, that everybody that was planning on (voting) –  which I hope was everybody –  got that done already prior to tomorrow."