Keeping Lloyd in line

Niners receiver Brandon Lloyd rebounded with a strong game Sunday against the Seahawks after a horrible showing a week earlier. Lloyd appeared to shy away from two catchable balls in the 49ers' eight-point loss to the Bears on Nov. 13, including one at the goal line. Afterward, Lloyd pointed the finger at quarterback Cody Pickett for throwing the ball too soon. Last week, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said he talked twice with Lloyd on the subject.

"You count on your teammates to make you a better player, and if you alienate those players, you're not helping yourself any," Nolan said. "It's pretty simple: No one guy is going to get the job done by himself.

"Guys go the extra mile for someone they really care about. Everybody knows Brandon is a good player on the football team and they want him to perform well, but I don't care how good you are, if you alienate people, it doesn't help you do your job as best you can."

Lloyd declined to answer questions about his conversations with Nolan.

"What me and coach Nolan talk about is between us, so I'll be happy to talk to you about (Sunday's) game and the Tennessee game," Lloyd said.

Lloyd provided many of the highlights Sunday in the 49ers' closer-than-expected 27-25 loss to the Seahawks. He caught seven passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. He could have had another touchdown, but he was ruled out of bounds on a one-handed grab in the end zone in the third quarter.

"They said I was going to be out of bounds," Lloyd said. "I thought I was more pushed out."

Lloyd downplayed any notion that it was important for him to rebound after a rough game against the Bears. He chalked up the narrow loss as another learning experience along the way for the 49ers, who face the Titans on Sunday in a game the team believes it has a legitimate chance to win.

"We grew up a lot (against Seattle), but the way we're going to measure our growth is how we play next week," Lloyd said. "We've had strong practices every week, and finally we're able to carry it over to the game."


--- Nolan has a decision to make at quarterback. Does he go with Ken Dorsey, who played well Sunday in a two-point loss to the Seahawks, or does he go with top overall pick Alex Smith?

Dorsey aggravated a left ankle sprain on Sunday. Smith practiced last week but was designated the team's No. 3 quarterback because Cody Pickett had the potential of being used on special teams. If Dorsey had come out of the game in the fourth quarter, Nolan said Smith would have entered the game.

Nolan declined to tip his hand whether he would go with Dorsey if he was deemed healthy. He plans to decide on his starter by Wednesday.

"If he's healthy ... I'd rather refrain from anything on that until we see how it is," Nolan said.

--- Running back Maurice Hicks did not get his first carry of the season until the 10th game, after Kevan Barlow and Frank Gore were unavailable due to injuries. On his first carry, he ripped off a 50-yard run.

"It feels good to be able to step in and help my team," said Hicks, who finished with 83 yards on 11 carries. "I want to put them in the best situation to win. Patience is the key. I knew my opportunity would come, and it did."

--- Tight end Terry Jones started for the 49ers just five days after he was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens. Jones caught one pass for 19 yards -- the longest reception from a 49ers tight end this season.

--- Former 49ers public-relations director Kirk Reynolds, who left the club after his controversial training tape was found its way into the media, made his first appearance at Monster Park. Reynolds worked as Steve Young's public-relations man.


--- DE Bryant Young sustained a medial collateral tear in his right knee and has some cartilage damage. He is expected to miss three to six weeks, which puts his return this season in question. Young leads the 49ers with eight sacks and was on pace for a Pro Bowl season.

--- QB Ken Dorsey re-injured his left ankle but said he did not believe the injury would prevent him from playing in Sunday's game against the Titans if Nolan decides to give him the start.

--- QB Alex Smith said he practiced all last week without any pain and said his right knee is fine and should not prevent him from playing Sunday against the Titans.

--- RB Frank Gore was on crutches Monday because of a left hip flexor that kept him out of action on Sunday. Gore probably will not be able to play in Sunday's game against the Titans.

--- RB Kevan Barlow left the Seattle game in the third quarter with a concussion. He said he was able to return to the field, but team doctors decided to play it safe. Barlow said he passed all the tests on Monday and expects to play Sunday against the Titans.

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