Rattay will take shot to play

The 49ers say Tim Rattay will be available for backup duty Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but Rattay told SFI he won't practice the rest of this week and will have to take a pain-blocking injection to play in that game.

Rattay wore his right arm in a sling and watched practice in shorts and a T-shirt Thursday, just as he has done since an MRI exam Monday revealed a second-degree separation of his throwing shoulder. Rattay suffered a sprained acromioclavicular joint when he was sacked by Atlanta defensive tackle Rod Coleman in the second quarter of the Niners' season opener against Atlanta last week.

Rattay feels pain mostly at the top of his throwing shoulder, and it was uncertain earlier this week whether he would be able to play at all this Sunday against the Saints. But the team now believes Rattay will be available to back up Ken Dorsey, who will make his first NFL start Sunday.

"Tim's situation will be that he will be able to play as the second quarterback," Niners coach Dennis Erickson said. "In visiting with the doctors (Thursday) morning, we feel very comfortable with that."

Rattay said he won't practice the rest of this week.

"I'd have to take a shot to practice," he said. "So I think it's best to rest and just kind of see what happens on Sunday."

After taking an injection to numb the pain after being hurt last week, Rattay returned in the fourth quarter to lead the 49ers on two touchdown drives in the final nine minutes. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 131 yards and two TDs after being injured.

Rattay has been rehabbing his shoulder this week with rotation exercises and pool work, but he has not been throwing. He will save that motion for when it is necessary. He will likely take another pain-blocking injection to play Sunday.

"It's getting better but it's still pretty sore," Rattay said. "I think they're pretty confident that using the block thing that they used (last Sunday), that I'd be able to do it again if I had to go out there and throw again."

Erickson said on Wednesday that Rattay would practice Friday before the team leaves for New Orleans, but that's not going to happen. Erickson said he expects Rattay's shoulder will be improved enough – particularly if he's not needed this week – to allow him to return to the starting lineup for the team's Sept. 26 game at Seattle.

"I would like to think that," Erickson said. "I hate to guess on that until we see how it transpires this week.

"Tim's frustrated. He gets his shot (as the starting QB), he pulls his groin. He comes back, the groin is OK, he hurts his arm. We all know what happened. Then he gets an opportunity to play and separates his shoulder. And then he comes back and plays very well, but he can't practice. So it's very frustrating for Tim. And frustrating for everybody. But things will work out for Tim as time goes on."

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