Will Niners, Packers proceed with caution?

San Francisco is one of the only teams in the league with an injury list which rivals the Packers' tally. Like the Packers, the 49ers already have their division and a playoff spot locked up. Should coach Steve Mariucci, who has been labeled as too cautious, go for broke against Green Bay or play it safe?

The Niners have injuries to about a third of the players on their active roster. Unlike the Packers, the bulk of the injured aren't key starters, but it still gives Mariucci something to ponder.

"Because we're still playing for some sort of home-field advantage, whoever's healthy within reason is going to play on Sunday," Mariucci said. "If a guy can go, he's going to play and try to help beat the Packers."

It took coach Mariucci 10 minutes to review the injury list following the Niners' win over the Cowboys last week. Nearly every facet of their team is impacted. Even the kicker, rookie Jeff Chandler, is hurt (groin).

Other significant injuries include safety Tony Parrish, tackle Derrick Deese, running back Garrison Heartst and Kavan Barlow, safeties Ronnie Heard and Zack Bronson to name a few?

Players, including receiver Terrell Owens (big surprise) have been vocal about the team's need to be more aggressive.

"As the season winds down, the wins become more important, not less important," defensive tackle Bryant Young said. "It always comes down to important games for playoff position. You want to peak at the right time, and we certainly haven't peaked yet."

If the Packers (10-3) beat the 49ers (9-4), the Niners won't have much to play for in their remaining two games.

San Fran has a slim chance to earn a first-round bye. The 49ers trail the outher three NFC division leaders by one game for the conference's best overall record, and they've already lost to East-leading Philly.

"Philly and Tampa are in the driver's sat as far as a bye," Mariucci said, discounting the Packers' slim trailing margin. "We've got a lot of concerns about getting enough healthy guys in time for the playoffs and getting everything together."

The Packers' injury woes have put them on a different path. Many of their key injuries simply aren't coming back for the playoffs -- most notably starting offensive linemen Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, both on IR. So Sherman doesn't face a question of "if" -- instead, it's more like "who?"

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