49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 24, 2008
DB shortage in SF (updated)

12:30 p.m.: Just got off a conference call with Saints coach Sean Payton. He said that receiver David Patten (groin) was held out of practice and that the team picked up Sean Ryan to augment a tight ends corps that will be without Jeremy Shockey for weeks. Payton said that left tackle Jammal Brown (groin) practiced today.

Talk about parity. The Saints' injuries at wide receiver this week might end up being balanced by injuries to the 49ers' secondary. When the team practices this afternoon, six members of the secondary will either be limited or out for the session. They are:

  • CB Shawntae Spencer - Having ACL surgery today, will be placed on IR later in the week

  • S Keith Lewis - Injured his knee on a kickoff coverage against Detroit. He returned to the game but will not practice today.

  • S Michael Lewis - Injured his elbow late in the Lions game. He did not come out of the game but he won't practice today.

  • S Dashon Goldson - He hurt his shoulder late in the Detroit game and did not return. He will be limited in today's practice.

  • CB Donald Strickland - He injured his knee in Week One. He did not play against Seattle and Detroit and will be limited today.

  • CB Walt Harris - He will be held out today due to a "coaches' decision." Harris, 34, probably will not practice on Wednesdays this year.

Coaches also gave Frank Gore the day off and WR Bryant Johnson (hamstring) also did not practice.

Meanwhile, there is still no definitive answer on Jonas Jennings' right shoulder, which he dislocated against Seattle. Mike Nolan said only that Jennings would be out this week. With Jennings out, guard Adam Snyder is the primary back-up at both left and right tackle. That's why David Baas saw some action Sunday at Snyder's left guard spot -- if Snyder had to play tackle, Baas would fill in at guard. Chilo Rachal also was activated for the Detroit game and would play guard in an emergency.

Nolan said that center Eric Heitmann's head bobs -- which FOX's Tony Siragusa called attention to in Seattle -- were done as a way of communicating the snap to his own teammates at Qwest Field. The problem is that the Seattle defense quickly figured out that Heitmann would snap the ball after one head bob and was getting a good jump off the line of scrimmage. What will the 49ers do if the Superdome is noisy on Sunday? Said Nolan: "We might need to (go) on two or three head bobs this week," he said.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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