Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3, and C.J. Beathardsuffered a wrist injury that opened the door for rookie Nick Mullens, who has gone 3-4 as a starter with victories over the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Mullens, signed as an undrafted free agent from Southern Mississippi, has passed for 10 touchdowns, with seven interceptions. Running back Matt Breida and receivers Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin will be sidelined against the Rams because of injuries, so Mullens will probably lean even more heavily on tight end George Kittle, who has 79 catches for 1,228 yards and four touchdowns. Mullens will need to keep an eye out for Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is chasing the NFL record for most sacks in a season. Donald’s three sacks against the Cardinals increased his total to 191/2, three shy of the 221/2 Michael Strahan recorded for the New York Giants in 2001. Donald had four sacks against the 49ers in the Rams’ 39-10 victory on Oct. 21. The Rams defense has played better since the return of cornerback Aqib Talib in Week 13 at Detroit. Safety Lamarcus Joyner is out because of an ankle injury, so Blake Countess and Marqui Christian willfill his spot.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times