San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ pregame: Aldon Smith to play, won’t start; Dial to anchor D-line

Aldon Smith returns to the lineup today, but he won’t start against the Giants.
Aldon Smith returns to the lineup today, but he won’t start against the Giants. AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The 49ers go into battle today undermanned in their secondary. Nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward is out for the season with a foot injury while cornerback Tramaine Brock won't play with a hamstring issue. Safety Eric Reid is dealing with an ankle injury but will play start as usual.

That leaves the 49ers with four healthy cornerbacks, starters Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver, as well as rookie Dontae Johnson and former practice squadder Leon McFadden. Johnson is likely to play extensively today, and McFadden could see his first snaps of the season.

At outside linebacker, Dan Skuta will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury. That probably will mean more snaps for Aldon Smith in his 2014 debut though Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks will start just as they did last week.

Chris Borland will start his fourth straight game at inside linebacker while Cox will handle punts for injured receiver Bruce Ellington. Quinton Dial will make his first career styart at nose tackle for injured Ian Williams (leg). Glann Dorsey (biceps) was not activated this week. Tank Carradine is active and could see the most snaps of his career.

New 49ers running back Alfonso Smith is wearing No. 38, which was Marcus Lattimore’s number before he retired.

49ers inactives

QB Josh Johnson

CB Tramaine Brock

WR Bruce Ellington

NT Ian Williams

OLB Dan Skuta

OL Dillon Farrell

WR Quinton Patton


CB Mike Harris

LB Jacquian Williams

G Adam Snyder

DE Kerry Wynn

T James Brewer

G Brandon Mosley

DT Cullen Jenkins

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at