Nate Clements couldn't have picked a better opportunity for a bounce-back game. The 49ers cornerback not only will be playing against his former team but he'll likely be the team's primary punt returner as well. Regular returer Allen Rossum already has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Rossum's back up, Arnaz Battle (foot), was listed as limited on today's injury report. But in the locker room, Battle said he wouldn't practice today and didn't know if he'd practice all week. Which leaves Clements, who had 65 punt returns in six years with the Bills. *****update****** Battle went through individual drills but was held out of team drills.
Also on the injury front, rookie receiver Josh Morgan (groin) will be limited this week after missing the last few games. Linebacker Patrick Willis (ankle) will miss practice today. Willis, who dealt with a hip strain and an illness last week, has another nick to deal with this week. Oldsters Walt Harris and Takeo Spikes were held out of practice today. Harris is dealing with a hamstring injury. Dashon Goldson has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Lots of talk about the weather today. Four days out, the forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 30s and possibly snow. Or rain. Or freezing rain. In other words, not a lot of downfield passes. It's the kind of game Mike Singletary used to relish when he was with the Bears. "A black and blue game," Singletary said today. "It's going to be cold. It's going to be perfect." The person I'm most curious to see perform in a bad-weather game? Mike Martz. Should be interesting ...
-- Matt Barrows