49ers LB NaVorro Bowman had an MRI on his recovering left knee Thursday, and the Sacramento Bee reports that the joint is continuing to improve. But DC Vic Fangio said he doesn't yet know if Bowman will even be able to return this year. The team would need to return Bowman to the practice field Tuesday if it hopes to activate him at any point. Fangio conceded that "I'm sure it's a possibility" that Bowman could miss the rest of the season. OLB Aldon Smith will return to the field this weekend after his 9-game suspension, but Fangio deemed the team's top pass-rusher "a little rusty." He said Thursday that he hadn't yet decided just how much Smith will play against the Giants. Don't consider him an IDP option yet.

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The 49ers will go without DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), CB Richard Sherman (calf) and slot CB K'Waun Williams -- to go with the earlier report on LB Dre Greenlaw (calf) -- for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. In addition, S Tarvarius Moore and CB Emmanuel Moseley are questionable. We'll check on their statuses Sunday when the inactives come out (around 3 p.m. ET).

Niners LB Fred Warner (neck, shoulder) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (hamstring) are active for today's game against the Cowboys. Starting outside CB Jason Verrett is a surprise inactive, though, after coming down with an illness. Verrett's absence improves the matchup for Cowboys WRs Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper, who spend most of their time outside.

The 49ers on Wednesday received a positive COVID test and immediately closed team facilities. That's particularly noteworthy because it comes a day before San Francisco is scheduled to host the Packers on Thursday night football. We'll see whether this situation alters the timing of the game. If the NFL pushes the game to later in the weekend or Monday night, then Packers RB Jamaal Williams might have time to return from isolation. If the game remains on Thursday night, Williams will miss it because of close contact with RB AJ Dillon, who tested positive for COVID at the beginning of the week. More time also might help Aaron Jones move beyond his calf strain to play after missing the past 2 games. Stay tuned.

The 49ers have deemed S Jaquiski Tartt (groin) and LB Kwon Alexander (ankle) doubtful for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. That should keep S Marcell Harris and LB Dre Greenlaw in full-time roles and in play for IDP lineups. S Jimmie Ward (quad) is questionable after missing last week's game. If Ward can't go, then Tarvarius Moore would get another start. We'll check his status Sunday.

Niners S Jaquiski Tartt (groin) and S Jimmie Ward (quad) remained out of practice Wednesday after missing Sunday's win over the Patriots. Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris started in their places against New England and tied for the team lead with 5 solo tackles. Each would be in play for IDP use against a pass-heavy Seattle team this week if Tartt and Ward sit again. Moore is the Ward replacement and Harris for Tartt, though their in-game roles have been fairly interchangeable. Elsewhere on the defense, LB Kwon Alexander (high-ankle sprain) remained out of practice Wednesday. His absence would keep Dre Greenlaw in a full-time role.

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