49ers player notes: Bruce's 200th game on tap

A detailed list of player notes and updates while running down the 49ers roster as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Monster Park in San Francisco.

WR ISAAC BRUCE: The 15th-year veteran reaches a milestone Sunday when he plays in the 200th game of his NFL career. His 199 games played are the most of any active wide receiver, and Bruce currently ranks 17th in NFL history in games played among wide receivers. Bruce, who is showing few signs of slowing down at age 35, says he feels even better now than he did during his heyday of the mid-1990s, when he set career highs with 117 receptions and 1,781 receiving yards in 1995, his second year in the league. "I'm not big on comparisons, but I feel bigger, stronger, quicker (and) wiser," Bruce said. ""And, uh, I'm not big on feelings, either." Bruce wasn't just feeling it last week against Seattle - he also was showing it with performance on the field. He set a team record for average yards per catch in a game (four receptions minimum) when he averaged 38.3 yards on his four catches against the Seahawks. Bruce's 153 receiving yards last week are the fourth-most in a game by a NFL receiver so far this season. With 946 career receptions, Bruce currently ranks second among active players behind Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison and his 14,262 receiving yards rank first among active receivers and puts Bruce third on the NFL's all-time chart behind only 49ers great Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. Sunday's breakout game as a 49er was the 41st 100-yard receiving game of Bruce's career.

CB NATE CLEMENTS: The eighth-year veteran made one of the big defensive plays of the game to help the 49ers turn around their fortunes against Seattle last week when he punched the ball out of the hands of Seattle WR Billy McMullen deep in San Francisco territory after McMullen had pulled in a 31-yard reception. The Seahawks were leading 14-6 at the time and driving for more points, but safety Michael Lewis recovered McMullen's fumble to halt the drive. Clements, who also had seven tackles and one pass defensed in the game, prides himself on being multi-dimensional when it comes to playing the position. Clements, who is known as one of the game's best pure tacklers at his position, has shown an ability to make interceptions as well as force fumbles during his career. Clements has forced 14 fumbles since 2004, which leads all cornerbacks and ranks sixth in the NFL among all defenders during that time span. Since 1988, Clements is tied for NFL lead with 17 forced fumbles. "I take pride in working hard at all facets of the game," Clements said. "During the week, I'll spend time on different drills, whether it be tackling, stripping the ball, interceptions and just pursuing to the ball because you never know what's going to happen." Clements also has started 106 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak behind Ronde Barber's 137.

LB PATRICK WILLIS: The second-year veteran led the NFL in tackles as the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, but one thing Willis said he's striving to add to his repertoire this year is game-changing plays after he recorded just one turnover last year. It took Willis only two weeks into the season to produce perhaps the biggest of those so far in his young career when he caught a deflected pass and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown that tied the score during last week's game against Seattle. Willis turned the first interception of his career into the longest return by a linebacker in the 49ers' 63-year history. "It's been a long time since I ran that far with the ball in my hands," Willis said. "I just hope that it's one of many to come. You never know when the opportunity is going to come your way. You just have to be ready when they do and take advantage of them. I thank God for that play and I thank Him for blessing me to make it. If you're doing the right things, you put yourself in the right position and they will come your way. And then also, too, you just never know, one might just pop up your way. That was just one of those plays that happened to go my way." Willis also had a game-high 12 tackles during the afternoon and leads the 49ers with 21 tackles, according to team figures. According to figures kept by the NFL, Willis ranks 38th in the league with 13 tackles, but leads all NFL linebackers with four passes defensed.

OT JONAS JENNINGS: The veteran committed two false starts and one holding penalty in the first half of last week's game was replaced at the start of the second half by veteran Barry Sims. Jennings has a dislocated right shoulder and is out for this week's game against Detroit. His status beyond that remains uncertain and doctors are still evaluating whether he will need surgery to repair his shoulder, which already has been operated on twice. The team has not currently specified a timetable for Jennings' return. Sunday's game will be the 28th start Jennings has missed in the 51 games the 49ers have played since he joined the team as a high-priced free agent in 2005.

TE VERNON DAVIS: The third-year tight end did not get off to a good start last week when he clearly shied away from a deep pass to turn his attention to Seahawks safety Deon Grant, who was closing in on him during the play. Davis was held without a reception after averaging 17 yards on three receptions in San Francisco's opener. He often was called upon to stay in and block on passing downs to help with protection against Seattle's blitzing defense.

RB FRANK GORE: The fourth-year veteran was walking gingerly Monday morning and was held out of Wednesday's practice by coaches, but he returned to practice Thursday and will be fine for Sunday's game against the Lions. Gore likes that the 49ers' passing game was productive. He said opponents will not be able to load up the box to stop the run. Gore was held to 61 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against the Seahawks and had five receptions for 38 yards. Gore also fumbled for the second consecutive week, and this one was returned for a Seattle touchdown. Gore was used in short-yardage situations, too, and he scored on a two-yard run. He leads the 49ers with 157 yards rushing on 37 attempts with two touchdowns, and also is tied for the team lead with nine receptions. Gore, who led the 49ers in both rushing yards and receptions each of the past two years, has 250 combined yards from scrimmage this season.

WR JOSH MORGAN: The rookie made the first reception of his career when he caught an 8-yard pass from J.T. O'Sullivan during last week's game. Morgan, a sixth-round draft pick, has settled into a role as the 49ers' No. 4 receiver.

QB J.T. O'SULLIVAN: The sixth-year veteran was sacked eight times against Seattle, but he showed a lot of resiliency in leading the 49ers to the victory and did not commit a turnover. O'Sullivan completed 20 of 32 passes for 321 yards and a touchdown - the 49ers' first 300-yard passing game since 2004. He also rushed 32 yards on four carries. For the season, O'Sullivan has completed 34 of 52 passes for 516 yards. He ranks sixth in the NFC and 12th in the NFL with a passer rating is 96.3. He leads the NFL with seven completions of 25 or more yards and is third in the league behind Kurt Warner and Tony Romo with an average of 9.92 yards per pass attempt.

WR BRYANT JOHNSON: After catching three passes for 48 yards in San Francisco's season opener, Johnson had a team-high six receptions for 78 yards against Seattle, scoring on a three-yard slant in the first half to account for San Francisco's first touchdown. Johnson is tied for 13th in the NFC and 24th in the NFL with his nine receptions.

LB TULLY BANTA-CAIN: The designated pass rusher, who was inactive for the second consecutive week against Seattle, admitted that right now he's the "odd man out" in the team's defensive scheme, but he said he'll be ready when he's called upon. Banta-Cain said he wants to be with the 49ers, and the 49ers took action before the season opener to guarantee that Banta-Cain remains with the organization. Banta-Cain accepted a salary reduction from $2.2 million to $1 million (next year's contract was also adjusted from $2.475M to $1.25M) to remain with the 49ers. Otherwise, he would've been free to go to any team. "I want to be here," Banta-Cain said. "And I'll keep working hard. Good things happen to those who wait, right?" Banta-Cain, who had a disappointing 3.5 sacks last season while starting 10 games, was beaten out this summer for the job as a situational pass rusher by Roderick Green and Parys Haralson.

RB DESHAUN FOSTER: The veteran newcomer will be needed at some point in the season, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. But he did not touch the ball last week against the Seahawks. In the opener, Foster carried four times for 11 yards and caught one pass for 12 yards.

CB WALT HARRIS: The 13th-year veteran had a strong game against the Seahawks. He deflected a Matt Hasselbeck pass that was intercepted by Patrick Willis and returned for a touchdown. Harris later recorded an interception of his own off a deflected pass and finished the game with four tackles and three passes defensed.

LB TAKEO SPIKES: The newcomer veteran looks as if he's taken over at the strong inside linebacker position next to Patrick Willis. Spikes replaced starter Jeff Ulbrich early in the game last week at Seattle and remained on the field for the remainder of the game. Spikes was credited with five tackles and a quarterback hurry in the game. "Takeo, he's coming along well," Willis said. "Obviously, he's still learning the defense, every day is a learning process for him. Even myself, I'm still learning also. But things are going well, and we just have to continue to work and take things one day at a time."

LB MANNY LAWSON: The former first-round pick in 2006 did not play one snap of defense last week against the Seahawks, as the 49ers employed five defensive backs throughout the game. With the Lions' multi-receiver sets, it's uncertain how much action Lawson will play this week, either. Lawson did make an impact on special teams and recorded the team's first blocked punt of the season.

WR ARNAZ BATTLE: The team's leader in receptions among wideouts each of the past two years, Battle is settling into his new role as the 49ers' No. 3 receiver, and he's also thrived in third-down situations throughout his career. Battle is sixth in the NFC since 2006 with 44 third-down receptions. Three of his five receptions this year have come on successful third downs.

CB SHAWNTAE SPENCER: Spencer, the team's third cornerback, suffered a knee injury during the fourth quarter against the Seahawks and will not play this week against Detroit. It remains uncertain when Spencer will be able to return from his injury.



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