Niners gameplan

Turnovers have been the crux of the problem for both the 49ers and Rams. The 49ers rank tied for last in the league with a takeaway/giveaway margin of minus-seven. The Rams have not been a lot better at minus-6. The 49ers have emphasized holding onto the football, but have not seen the results yet.

Second-year QB Ken Dorsey committed four turnovers against the Seahawks in the 49ers' 34-0 loss. He fumbled twice and threw two interceptions. The 49ers have to take care of the ball, and get their running game going against the Rams if they want to pull into a tie in the NFC West with a victory.

Defensively, the 49ers have to do a better job of getting pressure on the quarterback. Rams QB Marc Bulger is susceptible to turnovers, too, so the 49ers have to come at him with an array of blitzes. They need to get fourth linebacker Jamie Winborn more involved in the blitz package to take advantage of his major attributes, which are speed and aggressiveness.

The 49ers get a lift with the return of CB Mike Rumph to the lineup. Rumph, who has missed all but the early part of the 49ers' season opener against the Falcons due to a groin pull, will have to be at 100 percent to face the Rams' pair of talented receivers: Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. The 49ers believe they can do a good job on RB Marshall Faulk because of the speed they have at linebacker.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: 49ers CBs Ahmed Plummer and Mike Rumph, who need the help of a good pass rush, vs. Rams WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, who rank first and tied for second in the NFL in receptions with 25 and 22, respectively; RT Scott Gragg, a 10-year veteran who can be beaten by speed rushers, vs. LDE Leonard Little, who has recorded double-digit sacks in each of the past three seasons; FB Fred Beasley, one of the keys to the 49ers' running game with his punishing blocking, vs. MLB Robert Thomas, a third-year player who needs to clog up the middle to slow down the 49ers' running attack of Kevan Barlow.

INJURY IMPACT: QB Tim Rattay returned to practice Wednesday without any painkilling injection and threw the ball pretty well less than three weeks after sustaining a grade-two separation of his right shoulder. He'll be starting against the Rams after three consecutive days of practicing without pain. ... DE Andre Carter (back) is not expected to play Sunday against the Rams. It will likely be the third game in a row out of the lineup. Veteran Brandon Whiting will start his second straight game for Carter. ... LT Kwame Harris (left knee/left ankle) will not start but has a chance to suit up in an emergency role. Kyle Kosier will start in his place. ... DE Andrew Williams, who sustained a broken right lower leg in an Aug. 4 practice, is not healing as fast as the team had hoped. Coach Dennis Erickson said the team is shooting for Williams to make his return after the Oct. 24 bye week. ... C Jeremy Newberry underwent surgery to stabilize his right kneecap on Sept. 21 and is expected to miss most of the season. The team will determine in a couple weeks whether to place him in IR or try to get him back at some point this season.


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