June 16, 2024

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter of the game in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. This is the live blog for the 49ers’ Week 18 game versus the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. I’ll keep this updated with news and analysis from the press box.

12:25 Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, Arik Armstead, Ji’Ayir Brown, Jauan Jennings, Tashaun Gipson, and Ambry Thomas are the 49ers’ inactives.

12:30 This will be a difficult game to cover because neither team has anything to play for. Each team’s starters will presumably be pulled after a few drives, and reserves will play the balance of the game. As a result, this is an opportunity to analyze the team’s future. What about the young players? Sam Darnold, how good is he? These questions shouldn’t be relevant in early January, right before a Super Bowl run, but that’s all we have today. So let’s concentrate on Darnold. This game is a tryout for him. If he does extraordinarily well, he may be hired as a

Next season’s starting quarterback will be found elsewhere. If he performs well enough, he might be the 49ers’ backup quarterback next season. If he continues to stink, he may be kicked out of the league. I’m excited to see how he performs. He has spent the entire season in the 49ers offensive system. Brock Purdy had learned the method by this time last year, so Darnold should have it down by now. And, while we know he has a powerful arm, we need to see if he can protect the football, which he hasn’t done on prior teams.

49ers Photos | San Francisco 49ers – 49ers.com

1:24 The Rams win the coin toss and choose to defer. The kickoff will be taken by the 49ers.

1:33 IN THE FIRST QUARTER Elijah Mitchell scores a rushing touchdown on third and goal from the 1. On that drive, Sam Darnold was 5 of 5 for 49 yards. He looked exactly like Purdy.

Rams 7, 49ers 0.

1:45 Carson Wentz throws a touchdown pass to Puka Nacua on 3rd and 4 from the 49ers 18, beating Charvarius Ward, who committed a pass interference call that the Rams declined. To begin the game, there were two extremely simple drives. Neither team appears to be playing much defense today.


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