Dre Greenlaw, Aaron Banks injuries improving as 49ers prepare for Seahawks

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49ers optimistic Greenlaw, Banks can play vs. Seahawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers appear optimistic that two starters will be available to get back in action on Saturday for the team's playoff opener at Levi's Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw and left guard Aaron Banks sat out the 49ers' regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.

"Hopefully, we’ll get them back at practice at some point this week," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday morning in a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Greenlaw sustained a back strain in the 49ers' Week 17 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, while Banks left that game early with knee and ankle sprains.

The 49ers reported one injury out of their 38-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals: backup linebacker and special teams player Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles is day-to-day with a neck sprain, Shanahan said.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Elijah Mitchell returned to the field Sunday after missing time. Samuel had been out with knee and ankle sprains, while Mitchell was activated off injured reserve after his second knee injury of the season.

"They came out great," Shanahan said. "They came out healthy, which was very important. And with them coming out healthy, I thought it was great that they both got to play some and get back in there.

"I think it’ll help them going into this week."

Samuel played 42 of the 49ers' 62 offensive snaps on Sunday. He had three passes thrown his way, and he caught two of his Brock Purdy targets for 20 yards. Samuel had a big play when the ball was not in his hands, as he make a block that helped spring Mitchell for a 37-yard run.

Mitchell played only 10 snaps in the game, but he had five carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

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Defensive tackle Kevin Givens, who sustained a knee injury in Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been cleared to return to action to face the Seahawks.

Reserve cornerback Ambry Thomas, who sat out Sunday's game with an ankle injury, will be evaluated throughout the week.

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