49ers player notes
QB Alex Smith, who threw 11 interceptions and just one touchdown in 165 pass attempts last season, has attempted 108 passes this season without an interception. His streak dating back to last season is 132 attempts without an interception. Smith's passer rating through three games is 89.8, after compiling a 40.8 rating as a rookie. RB Frank Gore has gained 266 yards rushing on 61 carries this season, while also leading the team with 14 pass receptions for 115 yards. But Gore, who has three TD runs, might lose his short-yardage responsibilities because he has twice fumbled on the goal line in the past two weeks. He has three lost fumbles in three games. RB Michael Robinson, who scored the first two TDs of his NFL career last week against Philadelphia, is expected to replace Frank Gore on short-yardage situations. Robinson (6-foot-1, 218 pounds) is a powerful inside runner, and he gained 29 yards on five carries against the Eagles last week after replacing Gore. FB Chris Hetherington was inactive Sunday against the Eagles after starting the first two games of the season. FB Moran Norris made his debut with the 49ers because the club decided his style best fit into the team's game plan for the week. Norris is more of a pounding blocker, while Hetherington is a more versatile fullback. Coach Mike Nolan credited Norris with doing a good job going against Eagles MLB Jeremiah Trotter. WR Antonio Bryant has more than twice the yards receiving as anyone else on the team. He leads the 49ers with 281 yards receiving on his 12 catches, and ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards. For the second time this season, he had a long pass play negated by a penalty against the Eagles, this time a 49-yarder. Bryant had four catches for 36 yards against the Eagles after recording games of 114 and 131 receiving yards the first two weeks. WR Arnaz Battle had three catches for 28 yards against the Eagles, and for the first time this season did not handle punt return duties. Because the 49ers activated WR Brandon Williams over injured Taylor Jacobs, Williams returned punts and kickoffs. Battle has eight catches for 123 yards on the season. WR Bryan Gilmore, the team's No. 3 receiver, had one catch for 75 yards against the Eagles. He was tackled on the 1-yard line. Gilmore has four receptions for 108 yards in the first three games. TE Vernon Davis is expected to miss four weeks with a broken right lower leg. He sustained the injury in the third quarter against the Eagles. He has not caught a pass since grabbing five balls for 37 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. TE Eric Johnson took over as the main tight end after Davis' injury. Johnson caught seven passes for 87 yards and a TD against the Eagles after catching just one pass for two yards in the team's first two games. The last time Johnson saw this was playing time was in 2004, when he led the team with 82 catches for 825 yards. LG Larry Allen is expected to be out at least another week or two with a sprained left knee. He missed Sunday's game against the Eagles with the injury, which he sustained on the sixth play of the season-opener Sept. 10. LT Jonas Jennings returned to action Sunday against the Eagles and appeared to play well. Jennings missed the Sept. 17 game against the Rams with a high ankle sprain which he suffered in the season opener. K Joe Nedney hit a 48-yard field goal, for his fifth FG in seven attempts this season. Nedney got off to a rough start Sunday against the Eagles when the opening kickoff sailed out of bounds. S Chad Williams, who comes into the game as the 49ers' sixth defensive back, leads the team with 2.5 sacks after sharing a sack in the game against the Eagles. His nine solo tackles ranks sixth on the team. TE Delanie Walker, who has not played since sustaining a separated shoulder Sept. 1 in the 49ers' final exhibition game, returned to practice Wednesday and will available for Sunday's game against the Chiefs. LB Brandon Moore recorded his second sack of the season and had two QB hurries for the 49ers against the Eagles. Moore, who started his first game of the season against Philadelphia when the 49ers started the game in a 3-4 set, ranks seventh on the team with 12 tackles and has four quarterback hurries.
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