FOX Sports Exclusive
Fearless Prediction: Cardinals (8-4) at 49ers (5-7)
Game SnapshotKICKOFF: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN (Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Cardinals are a better team than the one that lost 20-16 at home to the 49ers to start the season. San Francisco primarily rushed only four, but Arizona's improved ground game makes it a more dangerous proposition to drop so many defenders into coverage. 49ers QB Alex Smith threw 45 passes in Seattle last Sunday while RB Frank Gore got just 12 carries in a game that was close throughout. Gore is likely to be more involved this week as Smith will be facing a complex scheme that feeds off blitz packages on long passing downs. FAST FACTS: Cardinals QB Kurt Warner averages 329.4 passing yards in Monday night starts. ... The 49ers' Vernon Davis has 10 touchdown receptions, a franchise record for tight ends.
- QB Kurt Warner is healthy and taking all the snaps in practice this week. Warner had been limited by a concussion suffered against the Rams on Nov. 22. He played last week and suffered a hip pointer. Neither injury is expected to keep him out of this Monday night's game against the 49ers.
- LT Mike Gandy is practicing on a limited basis and is expected to be active for Monday night's game against the 49ers. Jeremy Bridges could remain as the starter, however, with Gandy's time limited. Gandy has been struggling through a pelvic injury.
- DE Kenny Iwebema missed practice Thursday with a sprained shoulder but is expected to play Monday night against the 49ers.
- LB Karlos Dansby is playing with two injured shoulders but he hasn't missed a game this year. Dansby is expected to play against the 49ers.
- LB Takeo Spikes did not practice Thursday as he continues to nurse a strained hamstring. Spikes played effectively with the condition while starting the past two games.
- TE Delanie Walker, who caught just five passes in the first nine games of the season, has seven receptions for 80 yards in the past two games as his role has increased with the 49ers' new emphasis on a passing game.
- RB Frank Gore was held to just 48 total yards in the 49ers' season-opening game against the Cardinals. Gore was held to just 30 yards on 22 carries and three receptions for 18 yards. But in his past seven games against Arizona, Gore has 10 touchdowns and has averaged 121.4 yards from scrimmage.
- LB Manny Lawson leads the 49ers with 5.5 sacks despite getting replaced as the team's pass rusher in nickel situations by Ahmad Brooks. Since being removed on most third downs, Lawson has recorded sacks in three consecutive games.
- WR Isaac Bruce did not practice with an ankle injury. Because he has been demoted from the starting lineup and does not play special teams, Bruce is not likely to suit up for games even when he's 100-percent healthy and available to play. It is possible the next time Bruce suits up for a game will be the season finale Jan. 3 at the St. Louis Rams.