49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 1, 2014
Rogers doesn't practice; team has faith in backup Wright

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Carlos Rogers' sore, right hamstring has him in jeopardy of missing his first-ever game since joining the 49ers in 2011. The veteran cornerback has started 53 games since then, but he sat out Wednesday's practice while getting treatment on the hamstring, which he strained late in Sunday's win over Arizona. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Rogers was sore Tuesday but had improved some by Wednesday.

Rogers has said that he considers the injury to be minor, and he became animated when asked if he would rule himself out of Sunday's game. "Hell no," he said as he was leaving the facility Tuesday.

Still, hamstring injuries typically keep players out at least a week. If that's the case for Rogers, the team's most experienced cornerback, Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock would start the game with Eric Wright entering in nickel situations.

The nickel cornerback figures to play extensively against the Packers and will often be matched against Randall Cobb, one of the heroes from Green Bay's recent win in Chicago. Wright has faced Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice, once when he was with Cleveland in 2009 and again when he was with Detroit in 2011.

"He's not like a bum off the street," safety Donte Whitner said of Wright. "He was a guy that just scored a 30-plus-million-dollar contract from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he got into the off-the-field stuff. So he can actually play the game. Played a lot of nickel in Detroit. ...He's played Rodgers a few times. So he's going to be OK. He's looking forward to this opportunity to get back on the football field. So if Carlos can't go, I think he'll be all right."

Rodgers, meanwhile, said he thought Rogers would play. Asked about Wright, Rodgers said they were familiar with him from his stint with the Lions. "We know him," he said. "I think we're expecting Carlos to be ready."

Veterans Justin Smith and Jonathan Goodwin also missed practice but are expected to return on Thursday. Receiver Jonathan Baldwin sat out the session with an illness. Baldwin is unlikely to be active for the game anyway.

Limited: LB Dan Skuta (foot)
Full participation: LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), RB Frank Gore (knee), G Mike Iupati (knee)

Packers
Out: LB Clay Matthews (thumb)
Did not practice: DE Mike Neal (abdomen), LB Nick Perry (foot)
Limited: LB Brad Jones (ankle), RB Eddie Lacy (ankle), DT Ryan Pickett (knee)

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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