49ers player notes
TE Vernon Davis: The rookie starter, out since Sept. 24 with a broken leg, did not return to practice Wednesday as expected and is likely to miss his fifth consecutive game Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Davis is listed as doubtful to play against the Lions as the 49ers are being conservative with their prized first-round draft pick, but he may be able to return for the Nov. 19 home game against Seattle. LB Parys Haralson: The rookie linebacker underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle on the right side of his chest and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Haralson was injured late in the first half of Sunday's 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings as he reached out to trip up Vikings running back Mewelde Moore on a shovel pass. Haralson never got an opportunity to make a significant impact because of injuries this year, but he remains prominent in the team's future plans. "He's got really good pass-rush ability, and I'm very excited about that," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said Wednesday. "On first and second down, there's a place for that guy as well. Whatever it is, he's in our plans as far as the future goes. It's very disappointing that he got injured, because he was just getting involved the last couple of weeks." RB Frank Gore: The second-year veteran had a hard-earned 77 yards from scrimmage against the Vikings, accounting for more than half of the 49ers' 133 total offensive yards. He carried 19 times for 41 yards and caught five passes for 36 yards. That raised his rushing total for the season to 672 yards on 143 carries, but lowered his per-carry average from 5.1 to 4.7. At midseason, Gore ranks eighth in the NFL in rushing and fifth in the league with 919 yards from scrimmage. He continues to lead the 49ers with 31 receptions for 247 yards. RB Maurice Hicks: After sustaining a concussion in Week 8 at Chicago, Hicks did not handle the kickoff return duties against Minnesota, but he still played a role on special teams with a game-high three tackles. Hicks now ranks second on the team in that category with 10 tackles, and he also remains among the NFC's top kickoff returners with a 24.5 average on his 33 returns. LB Roderick Green: The third-year veteran was signed Tuesday to replace Haralson on the 53-man roster. Green (6-2, 270) was claimed by the 49ers off waivers from Baltimore after the final cut this past summer. He played in a reserve role in the 49ers opening game at Arizona and was inactive against St. Louis before being waived. QB Alex Smith: The second-year player has seen his passer rating slip to 79.7, which places him 19th among the NFL's leading quarterbacks, his lowest standing of the season. He has thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions this season while completing 59.4 percent of his passing attempts. Smith has generally done a good job of avoiding sacks, getting thrown 18 times in eight games. He also is second on the team in rushing behind Gore with 86 yards on 23 carries, several of which were end-of-game kneel-downs in San Francisco victories. LB Bobby Iwuchukwu: The rookie was placed on the practice squad-injured list with a hamstring injury Wednesday. He was replaced on the practice squad with LB Russel Rabe. Rabe (6-foot-2, 228 pounds) was originally signed by the New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota-Duluth in 2005. He was waived by the Saints prior to the start of the regular season and then was re-signed by New Orleans again in the offseason. Iwuchukwu spent all eight games this season on San Francisco's practice squad before being injured. RB Michael Robinson: The rookie fourth-round draft pick is seeing action as the No. 2 back behind Gore. He has 28 rushing attempts for 63 yards and two touchdowns this season, both of which came in Week 3 against Philadelphia. Robinson had three carries for three yards in short-yardage situations against the Vikings, making a great effort to break two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and lung for two yards to pick up a first down on a third-and-1 play. He also was stuffed for no gain on another third-and-one play near midfield, forcing the 49ers to punt. FB Moran Norris: The sixth-year veteran started his sixth consecutive game against the Vikings, as he has supplanted Chris Hetherington as the team's primary fullback. Norris has not carried the ball. He has three receptions for 2 yards, including a touchdown. But Norris' main contribution to the team is as a blocker, something he has been doing well while clearing out space in front of Gore. WR Antonio Bryant: The fifth-year veteran leads the team in receiving yards with 483 on 27 receptions, but his lack of involvement in the passing game has been a reason for frustration. The 49ers would like to get the mercurial receiver more involved in the second half of the season to see him surpass his career-high totals of 69 receptions for 1,009 yards set last year with the Cleveland Browns. WR Arnaz Battle: The fourth-year veteran has been healthy this season and has been a reliable No. 2 receiver. He has 24 receptions for 286 yards and two touchdowns, both of them coming in the Week 5 victory over Oakland. Battlealso has averaged 19.5 yards on four punt returns, including a 60-yarder, but has not handled a punt since the second week of the season. WR Bryan Gilmore: The team‘s No. 3 receiver has not been much of a factor in the passing game with just seven receptions for 136 yards, though one of those catches went for 75 yards to set up a touchdown.. He made a mistake in Sunday's game against the Vikings when he ran a 7-yard route at the sideline on a third-and-8 play, and the 49ers were forced to punt after he made the catch. Gilmore ranks fourth on the team with 53 yards on just three carries, each of them end-arounds. TE Eric Johnson: The sixth-year veteran has taken over as the starting tight end and has played almost every snap since Vernon Davis' injury. Johnson, who led the team with 82 catches two seasons ago, is fourth on the team with 23 receptions for 210 yards. When Davis returns to the lineup, Johnson will see his playing time slashed considerably, but that won't happen this week. LG Larry Allen: The 10-time Pro Bowler was back in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game against the Vikings after missing five starts with a left knee sprain, but couldn't help create much open space up in the running game the middle against Minnesota's strong defensive interior. K Joe Nedney: The ninth-year veteran has made six consecutive field goal attempts after getting off to a shaky start this season. He accounted for all of San Francisco's points in the 49ers' 9-3 victory over the Vikings, making kicks from 25, 30 and 51 yards. He also converted a successful surprise onside kick attempt, his second successful onside kick this season. Nedney leads the 49ers with 51 points, which ranks him 11th among NFC kickers. LB Brandon Moore: The fifth-year veteran was elevated to the starting lineup in place of Jeff Ulbrich last week, and he responded with a fantastic game. Moore recorded a career-high 15 tackles (eight solo). He had a hand in two sacks, caused a fumble, made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and created three quarterback hurries. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance. LB Jeff Ulbrich: The seventh-year veteran, who was demoted from the starting lineup after playing poorly, played in the 49ers' third-down package because of an injury to safety Chad Williams. Ulbrich had four tackles on defense and one on special teams in his reduced role, and ranks fifth on the team with 40 tackles. LB T.J. Slaughter: The seventh-year veteran is seeing time on defense as the 49ers rotate several players, and he responded with three tackles and his first two quarterback pressures of the season against the Vikings. Slaughter also has been a mainstay on special teams, where he leads the 49ers with 11 tackles. S Keith Lewis: The third-year veteran made his first start at free safety against the Vikings, and continues to play well in his increased role on defense, which began against Chicago in Week 8 when he began rotating in with previous starter Mike Adams. Lewis had four tackles and knocked away a pass in coverage, although he was not credited with a pass defensed because Minnesota was penalized on the play. CB Walt Harris: The 11th-year veteran recorded his fourth interception against the Vikings - the 49ers only have five as a team at midseason - which moved him into a tie for the NFC lead with Atlanta's DeAngelo Hall and Chicago's Ricky Manning. Harris also leads the 49ers with three forced fumbles and is seventh on the team with 33 tackles. He suffered a hip contusion against the Vikings and, although he later returned to the game, he is questionable to play this week against Detroit after sitting out practice Wednesday. P Andy Lee: The third-year veteran had a superb game against the Vikings on an afternoon when the 49ers needed quality performance from their punter in a tight game. Lee averaged 48.5 yards on his six kicks with an outstanding net of 42.2 and got the 49ers out of several holes with high, booming punts. Those numbers moved him into the NFC's top 10 in both punting average (43.5) and net average (35.9).
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