49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 3, 2009
Injuries have Niners contemplating moves

Tuesday is the day teams typically make roster moves, and the 49ers have a lot to think about with two heretofore starters suddenly out a month and a half. Here are the injuries and the 49ers' options ...

Joe Staley. This is the biggest injury of the three because the offensive line already had been a problem area and because Staley had been one of the team's top two linemen. (center Eric Heitmann being the other). Barry Sims played well in relief, albeit against a less-than-100-percent Dwight Freeney. Look for Sims and Adam Snyder to be the starting tackles while Staley is out. Newly-signed Chris Patrick also is an option, and the 49ers also could elevate rookie Alex Boone from the practice squad. Boone is strictly a right tackle. Bringing him to the active roster would require the 49ers to release someone on the 53-man squad, likely a receiver.

Nate Clements. Clements will miss only the second game of his career Sunday against the Titans. In fact, the team is expecting him to miss at least five more games after that as he recovers from the broken right shoulder blade he suffered while returning a punt Sunday. That puts Clements' return in mid December. The 49ers play the Cardinals, a team with which they are contending for the division and one against which Clements has been particularly effective, on Dec. 14. The 49ers likely will compensate by going with the same lineup they used Sunday - Shawntae Spencer and Tarell Brown as the starters and Dre Bly as the nickel corner. Marcus Hudson also is an option. Hudson's value, however, is mostly due to his special teams prowess. His coverage skills are questionable. Eric Green, a cornerback they looked at in training camp, also is available.

Demetric Evans. Evans is out three weeks with a sprained shoulder. He hasn't exactly been a major part of the defense - he has four tackles this season - but he has played in every game. The 49ers have a lot of defensive linemen for a team that uses a 3-4 front. They don't need to make a move at the position. Evans' injury, however, likely will allow some playing time for seventh-round pick, Ricky Jean-Francois. According to MM, the 49ers were considering giving Jean-Francois some playing time following the bye week. But the rookie may have dashed any goodwill by missing his flight out of Miami after the bye and being late for team meetings.

Ronnie Lott will be one of four inductees into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 11. The others are legendary high school football coach Ron Calcagno, three-time Olympian Sheryl Johnson and former Stanford pitcher and announcer Bob Murphy.

Why don't the 49ers commit to the spread offense? Who is quietly having the best season of his career? How many tequila shots did Barrows and Maiocco down Saturday night in Indianapolis, and who looked worse the next day? All this and more if you join in on this morning's Niners Chat at 11 a.m. Start practicing how to quickly minimize your screen so your boss doesn't find out ...

-- Matt Barrows

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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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