49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 10, 2011
Fangio: Jean Francois the fourth starter on the D-line


Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been very consistent with one of his rules this season: Players who are injured during the week don't play on Sunday.

Fangio said today that Ray McDonald is further along with a hamstring injury than the 49ers thought he might be when McDonald suffered the strain Oct. 30. Still, he said that McDonald would have to practice this week in order to start against the Giants.

"I think that goes with any injury, but particularly with a pulled muscle," Fangio said. "I think the guy needs to show you in practice that he's ready to play before you put him out there in the game. You can't let him not do anything all week and then he says he's fine on Sunday, and he goes out there. Invariably he's going to reinjure himself."

McDonald was limited in Wednesday's session. He went through individual drills with the rest of the defensive linemen, but then worked with trainers on a side field when the team portions got underway.

Meanwhile, Fangio said that Ricky Jean Francois graded out well in Sunday's win against the Redskins. Washington had a 16-yard running play to Jean Francois' side of the field on the first play, but Fangio said that wasn't Jean Francois' fault.

"We think we've got four starters in the D-line with Ricky being the fourth one," Fangio said. "And he's now played for Isaac (Sopoaga) one week and Ray one week, and he's gone in there and backed up that statement that I made."

On the other side of the ball, Frank Gore said he'd practice today and Friday and be ready for Sunday's game. He said his left ankle sprain was not as bad as his right ankle sprain earlier in the year. Gore didn't start the team's Week 4 game in Philadelphia, but he rushed 15 times for 127 yards in that game.

****Update**** Every 49er, including Gore and McDonald, was dressed at the start of today's practice. How extensively each practices will be known later today when the team releases its participation chart.

Two injured players were in the locker room today. Receiver Joshua Morgan was on crutches with a cast on his lower leg, the result of a fracture Oct. 9. Morgan didn't give a prognosis. He said that temporary screws and plates were inserted in the leag to help it heal.

Tight end Nate Byham, who suffered an ACL tear early in training camp, was walking around without a limp.

-- 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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