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L.G. Patterson, Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon dives into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in St. Louis.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jim Harbaugh made one thing clear Monday: A playoff bye week is nothing like the break teams get midseason.

Still, the NFC West champions are relishing some extra prep time considering all the players trying to get healthy ahead of the franchise's first playoff berth in nine years. Linebacker Patrick Willis is working to return to top form from a right hamstring injury, while star running back Frank Gore has dealt with nagging knee and ankle injuries. Tight end Delanie Walker has a jaw injury and Ted Ginn Jr., a hurt left ankle.

Rookie cornerback Chris Culliver sustained a bruised left knee in Sunday's 34-27 win at St. Louis that had him limping through the locker room a day later. Wide receiver Kyle Williams is recovering from a concussion.