49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 26, 2013
49ers-Rams pregame: Vernon Davis to start, Jon Baldwin, LaMichael James active


ST. LOUIS - Vernon Davis is active and will start for the 49ers today after missing Sunday's game with a hamstring strain. As expected linebacker Patrick Willis (groin) and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (knee) are inactive.

Michael Wilhoite will make his first-ever start in place of Willis. Wilhoite, 26, filled in for Willis throughout the preseason as Willis recovered from a broken hand. Nate Stupar will serve as a backup at inside linebacker. Tramaine Brock will serve as the team's No. 3 cornerback in place of Asomugha. The team also has Perrish Cox and undrafted rookie Darryl Morris in reserve.

Two players, receiver Jon Baldwin and running back LaMichael James, are in uniform for the first time this season. Baldwin, who at 6-4, 230 pounds, is one of the biggest -- and fastest -- receivers on the team was acquired in the trade for A.J. Jenkins last month. Meanwhile, receiver Marlon Moore, who has one catch through three games, is inactive for the first time this year.

James recently recovered from a knee sprain. He was the team's punt returner in the preseason, a job Kyle Williams has handled since Week 1. This is the first time James has been active alongside fellow rushers Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.

Outside linebacker Dan Skuta will make his first start for the 49ers. He and rookie Corey Lemonier will platoon to replace Aldon Smith, who has 3 ½ of the 49ers' seven sacks on the season.

For the Rams, starting right tackle Rodger Saffold and backup defensive end William Hayes are out for the game. John Barksdale will start for Saffold, who will mostly be matched against Ahmad Brooks.

49ers inactives:
5 B.J. Daniels
13 Chris Harper
19 MarlonMoore
28 Nnamdi Asomugha
48 Owen Marecic
52 Patrick Willis
78 Joe Looney

Rams inactives:
OT Rodger Saffold
DE Williams Hayes
G/C Barrett Jones
OG Brandon Washington
OT Mike Person
TE Mike McNeill
RB Isaiah Pead

-- 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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