By Jerrell Richardson
For a team that plays such a physical style of football, it’s somewhat of a surprise that the San Francisco 49ers have remained as healthy as they have this year. There are no new names on their injury report this week, and one that will be coming off this list, and getting back on the field sooner then later.
Home Run Threat Returns to Practice
The good news coming out of San Francisco camp is that Ted Ginn Jr. should be back on the field very soon. For the first time since injuring his ankle against the Broncos in the preseason, he wore pads, and participated in practice this week. He is listed as questionable and will be a game time decision, but it would not be a surprise to see him at least dressed to play. His presence will not mean a whole lot this week as San Francisco is the more talented overall, but the team needs him back as soon as possible as he has the ability to contribute immedialtely if healthy, which means shorter fields for the offense, and his speed which can also show up occasionally in the passing game adds another element to this team.
Debut Still Pending
Brandon Jacobs on the other hand has yet to touch the practice field, and with multiple able bodies at the running back position the team is in no rush to get him back. He will certainly be welcomed though, as outside of Anthony Dixon the team does not have another power back and will need his physicality in the second half of the season as Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and the other backs start to accumulate some miles on their bodies. Although his return should not be too far off, with another week of no contact for the new 49er, the team will be lucky for him to make his debut before their bye.
Andy Lee is probable, but will be at full strength as last week proved his injury is a non-factor in his ability to punt. The 49ers have a back up place holder so they will be fine if he is unable to handle his normal duties in that department.
49ers Will Go Left
The Vikings on the other hand will feel the impact of their injuries, despite the fact that only two players are listed as out for the game. One of those players is left outside linebacker D’Aundre Reed, who is the back up to Brian Robison. The reason a non-starter’s injury is important is that Robison is already playing with a sore elbow, and when in combination of left inside linebacker Erin Henderson also missing the game, and his replacement Marvin Mitchell playing on a tweaked ankle, the left side of the Viking defense is very vulnerable. They enter this game already facing the task of slowing the steadily improving and constantly evolving 49er rushing attack, and will now have to do it short handed. By the time the 3rd and 4th quarter roll around, the left side of the Vikings Defense is going to be tired, hurting and will have their hands full. The Vikings starting center John Sullivan will also be playing on a bum ankle and had better be up to the task as if he is unable to clear holes for Adrian Peterson, it could spell a long day for the home team on both sides of the ball.
San Francisco 49ers
-Brandon Jacobs (Running back): Knee
-Ted Ginn Jr. (Wide receiver): Ankle
-Andy Lee (Punter): Hand
-John Sullivan (Center): Ankle
-Chris Cook (Cornerback): Biceps
-Rhett Ellision (Tight End): Ankle
-Marvin Mitchell (Linebacker): Ankle
-Brian Robison (Defensive End): Elbow
-Andrew Sendejo (Safety): Ankle
-Jarius Wright (Wide Receiver): Ankle
-Erin Henderson (Linebacker): Concussion
-D’Aundre Reed (Defensive End): Calf
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Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. His work can be found on Examiner.com.