Tuesday notebook

Quarterback Tim Rattay will try to practice Wednesday and might return to the starting lineup for the 49ers this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

Rattay sustained a separated throwing shoulder in the 49ers' season opener Sept. 12 against the Falcons and has missed the last two games. Rattay said he believes he has a good chance to play this week.

"Yeah, I'm really shooting and trying to have a chance to play," Rattay said.

Rattay served as the backup to Ken Dorsey in the 49ers' landmark 34-0 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, the first time the 49ers had been held scoreless since the 1977 season. Rattay said it took only two pain-killing injections to get him ready to be the backup in Sunday's game. The previous week, it took approximately 10 shots to get Rattay's shoulder numbed enough to serve as the No. 2 quarterback.

Last week, 49ers coach Dennis Erickson said he could not make a decision on who would be the team's quarterback for the remainder of the season until he watched Dorsey again. But after the game, he made it clear that Rattay's job was safe.

Dorsey has often said he is looking forward to Rattay returning to the lineup because of their friendship, but it's clear he didn't want to bow out as a starter quite like this. Dorsey is the lowest-rated passer in the NFC and No. 30 in the league.

"I want to be out there playing well," Dorsey said. "But no matter what the situation I'm preparing like a starting quarterback and anything less than that wouldn't be fair to the team."

Rattay said the timing of returning as a starter has nothing to do with the 49ers' offensive struggles. He said he just wants to get healthy and play football.

"I'm motivated to get back as fast as I can regardless of the situation," Rattay said. "Obviously, it's a situation where we need to get a win. Like everybody in this locker room, I just trying to do the best to help team to win and I want to be a part of that."


--- Linebacker Derek Smith, who played at Arizona State with the late Pat Tillman, was denied in his request to the league office to wear a decal with the No. 40 on his helmet. Tillman died in combat with the U.S. Army Rangers in Afghanistan in April.

Smith, who has worn his hair longer this season in honor of Tillman, had a piece of tape inside his face mask so only he could see it with the No. 40 on it.

"It's for my eyes," Smith said. "I'm not going to disrespect the league's decision. I don't agree with it, but you don't want to bite the hands that feeds you."

The league told Smith he would be subject to a $5,000 fine if he kept the No. 40 decal on his helmet.

--- Veteran kicker Todd Peterson hit the crossbar on his second-quarter field-goal attempt from 46 yards out, which was the closest the 49ers came from averting the shutout. The 49ers had scored in their previous 420 games.

"It was going straight as an arrow," Peterson said. "It was good. There was no doubt about it, then it just kind of died. You've got to hit those kicks pretty much perfectly."

Peterson made all four field-goal attempts in his first two games, but the 11-year pro's longest kick was 33 yards. Last season, his long was from 48 yards.

--- The new longest active scoring streak belongs to the Minnesota Vikings, who have put points on the scoreboard in 207 consecutive games.

--- Team general manager Terry Donahue walked off the field with rookie cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who made his first career start. Spencer, who gave up some plays but also broke up two passes and made five tackles, said Donahue wanted to stress the importance of learning from the experience.

"He told me that I'll have some growing pains, but I just need to grow each and every game of my career," Spencer said. "He said that I need to take the good with the bad and learn from it all. They made some plays on me but they didn't get anything deep. I didn't want to give up the big play, but at the same time I wanted to be aggressive."

--- QB Ken Dorsey is the lowest-rated passer in the NFC at 59.5. He has completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 469 yards. He has thrown three interceptions with no touchdowns. He strained his groin during Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, but should be ready to practice Wednesday and be available for whatever role he'll have Sunday vs. the Rams.

--- QB Tim Rattay threw before Sunday's game after taking two pain-killing injections. He was the team's backup but did not play. He planned to rest his shoulder two days before trying to practice on Wednesday. Rattay, who sustained a separated throwing shoulder on Sept. 12, will start Sunday vs. the Rams if he practices well.

--- LT Kwame Harris did not suit up for Sunday's game and he is questionable for action this week with a left ankle sprain and a sprained left knee.

--- PR Arnaz Battle has returned five punts this season and had seven fair catches. He ranks 12th in the NFC and 27th in the league with a 3.4-yard average.

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