KEYS TO THE GAME
49ers: WR Jason Hill, inactive for five of the 49ers' first seven games of the season, took advantage of his opportunity Sunday when he replaced struggling veteran Isaac Bruce. ... Smith threw three interceptions, two of which came on passes that were deflected. Only one of the picks came as a result of holding the ball too long, he said. ... CB Tarell Brown is expected to be a fixture in the 49ers' starting lineup for years after his promotion corresponded with the demotion of Clements against the Colts on Nov. 1. Brown had just signed a contract extension that awarded him a $2.5 million signing bonus and locked him up through the 2013 season. ... TE Vernon Davis leads the NFC among tight ends with 477 receiving yards. Dallas' Jason Witten is the only NFC tight end with more catches than Davis, who has 42 receptions and seven touchdowns. ... RB Michael Robinson will be the 49ers' backup at fullback and halfback, as well as an extra tight end. Robinson will be Gore's primary backup after rookie Glen Coffee has been ruled out of Thursday's game with a concussion. ... Bruce does not appear on the 49ers' injury report, but the club says Hill replaced him as the No. 3 wideout because Bruce rolled his ankle late in the first half against the Titans. ... DL Ricky Jean-Francois, a seventh-round pick, suited up for the first time last week against the Titans but did not get into the game. He is expected to be active again Thursday because veteran Demetric Evans is out another two games with a shoulder injury. ... C Cody Wallace, a fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft, has been inactive for all 24 games of his NFL career and does not figure to suit up for a game as long as starting C Eric Heitmann is available.
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