Cornerback Carlos Rogers underweant an MRI on his injured hamstring Monday and will test it out in practice on Wednesday. But citing a team source, the National Football Post reported Tuesday the results from that MRI were not encouraging.
"We'll see, but knowing hamstrings the way I do, I wouldn't expect him to play," the source told the website.
Rogers, 32, is one of the leaders of the team's talented secondary and injured his hamstring late in Sunday's 23-20 win over the Cardinals. If he doesn't play Sunday it could preview what the group of cornerbacks could look like next year.
Rogers is due $6.25 million with a salary cap figure of over $8 million in 2014. Should he remain on the team, it's likely he would have to restructure his contract and a drastic pay cut. Otherwise, it's likely he would be released as the team would try to replace him with a younger player.
Eric Wright would step in to replace Rogers in the slot when the team goes to its nickel package, with Tramaine Brock and Tarell Brown the likely starters in base situations. Wright started the season on the NFI list and didn't make his season debut with his new team until Week 10 in New Orleans. Sunday's game could be a big one for Wright, who doesn't have a contract beyond the season.
Brock recently signed a four-year, $16 million extension and is the only corner with a firm grip on a starting job next year. He lead the team with five interceptions in the regular season.
Brown is a free agent this spring and is likely headed elsewhere. He missed out on a $2 million workout bonus in the spring by staying in Texas instead of coming to the team facility. Brown fired his agent immediately after finding out. The team indicated it would like to sign Brown to an extension, but those talks appear dead after getting Brock's extension done. Brown is still recovering from a rib/chest injury suffered in New Orleans that required being hooked up to a breathing machine, but he has played in the last three games.
Another corner with a good shot at a starting job next season is Chris Culliver, who missed the entire year after tearing his ACL in training camp. Culliver became a key cog in the defense during the Super Bowl run of 2012, but had a rough Super Bowl week, including his regrettable comments to a shock-jock radio program and a poor showing against the Ravens.
The 49ers defense has allowed back-to-back 300-yard passing performances from opposing quarterbacks to end the regular season, which is an area of concern going against Aaron Rodgers Sunday.
Without Rogers, Wright and the rest of the corners will have the tough task of shutting down Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones on the Packers' home field. Although Rogers might have lost a step and is more toward the back end of his career than his prime, he is a heady corner that uses technique and positioning effectively.
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