This is not the team the schedule-makers were expecting when the 49ers were slotted for "Sunday Night Football" for two of the league's first six weeks of the season.
The injury-bit 49ers are 2-3 and in last place in the NFC West.
The Los Angeles Rams (4-1) come to Levi's Stadium one game behind the unbeaten Seattle Seahawks in the division.
This is a pivotal game for the 49ers, who begin a tough stretch of games against the resurgent Rams. After this week, the 49ers have consecutive tests at New England and Seattle, vs. Green Bay, at New Orleans and the Rams, and home against Buffalo.
Here are five players who must come up big for the 49ers on Sunday in order for them to avoid a third consecutive loss:
5. Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo said he was ready last Sunday. He was not.
The 49ers will go back to him in this crucial Week 6 matchup, and he must produce in order for his team to have any shot at staying in the NFC West race.
Garoppolo was favoring his bad wheel and not throwing with good mechanics upon his return to the starting lineup against the Miami Dolphins. But as he returns to start another game after being out for two weeks with a high ankle sprain, there are no excuses.
His production will determine his future with the club, and this game against the Rams' strong pass defense gives him the opportunity to begin building for a strong final two and a half months of the season.
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