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49ers scratch linebackers Willis, Skuta; Saints keep hobbled Goodwin, Strief available

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NEW ORLEANS — The San Francisco 49ers have scratched injured starting linebackers Patrick Willis and Dan Skuta for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

The Saints will have right tackle Zach Strief in uniform after he missed practice all week with a chest injury, and also have activated center Jonathan Goodwin, who has been limited by ankle and knee injuries.

Skuta, who has an ankle injury, and Willis, who has an injured toe, did not practice all week and were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. However, starting Niners cornerback Tremaine Brock, who also was questionable with a toe injury, has been activated.

Saints scratches include receiver Robert Meachem, who missed practice Thursday and Friday with an ankle injury. Meachem's absence raises the prospects of playing time for Nick Toon, who has only been active one game and does not have a reception this season.

New Orleans had already ruled out running backs Pierre Thomas, who has a shoulder injury, and Khiry Robinson, who has a forearm injury. That sets up Mark Ingram to get the bulk of carries for a third straight week. This week, however, Ingram has been limited in practice by a sore shoulder.

New Orleans also had previously ruled out linebacker David Hawthorne with a hand injury, and Ramon Humber was listed as the starter in his place. Healthy scratches for New Orleans included rookie cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, reserve guard Eric Olsen and newly acquired offensive tackle Nick Becton.

San Francisco's healthy scratches included receiver Quinton Patton, cornerback Leon McFadden, safety L.J. McCray and guard Dillon Farrell.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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