Aaron Banks active; Jacoby Brissett is QB3

LANDOVER, Md. — Left guard Aaron Banks and No. 3 cornerback Ambry Thomas will suit up today as the 49ers look to close in on a top playoff seed.

Banks (toe) and Thomas (hand, knee) were questionable because of injuries from Monday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

If the 49ers (11-4) beat the Commanders (4-11), then that secures at least the No. 2 seed, and it keeps the 49ers in position to secure the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

A 49ers’ win could also yield the No. 1 seed as soon as this afternoon, but only if the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) lose at home to the Arizona Cardinals (3-12). Both games kick off at 10 a.m. PT.

If the 49ers lose a second straight game, that will create a slew of other scenarios, though it would not outright lose them a shot at the No. 1 seed to the Eagles. Next weekend, the 49ers finish the regular season at home against the Los Angeles Rams (8-7). Other NFC finales of interest next weekend: the Eagles at the New York Giants (5-10), the Detroit Lions (11-5) host the Minnesota Vikings (7-8), and the Dallas Cowboys (11-5) come here to FedEx Field to visit the Commanders.

The Lions lost last night 20-19 at Dallas.

Other NFC teams still in contention are the Seattle Seahawks (8-7), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7), the Green Bay Packers (7-8), the New Orleans Saints (7-8), the Atlanta Falcons (6-9) and the Chicago Bears (6-9). Eliminated are the Carolina Panthers (2-13), the Cardinals (3-12), the Commanders and the Giants.


The Commanders designated their No. 3 emergency quarterback as Jacoby Brissett, only a few days after being designated as the replacement to Sam Howell. Brissett sustained a hamstring injury in Thursday’s practice.

Howell will start for the 16th time in as many games this season, and his backup will be Jake Fromm.

Also inactive for Washington are starting cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St. Juste; right tackle Andrew Wylie; tight end Cole Turner; wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley; and, defensive end Jalen Harris.


Left tackle Trent Williams and defensive end Chase Young will face their original team here for the first time since getting traded to the 49ers, Williams in 2020 and Young two months ago. Coach Kyle Shanahan already has won here (2019) against his former team (he was Washington’s offensive coordinator.


The 49ers had no surprises among their inactivated players: defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot), tight end Ross Dwelley (ankle), wide receiver Jauan Jennings (concussion), safety Ji’Ayir Brown (knee), offensive tackle Jaylon Moore (concussion), linebacker Jalen Graham and emergency quarterback Brandon Allen.

Running back Jordan Mason and linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles are active, after being listed as questionable because of illnesses.

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