The San Francisco 49ers went into New Jersey Sunday afternoon and laid a thorough beating on the New York Jets, departing with a 34-0 victory. The cherry on top is that once again the team appeared to emerge relatively unscathed. The 49ers have had to deal with some injuries this year, but have found themselves in a fairly solid position from a health standpoint.
The big return this week was Ted Ginn Jr. The 49ers returner had yet to suit up this season, but had reached limited status in practice the last two weeks. He was finally active yesterday and split return duties with Kyle Williams. Ginn handled punt returns and Williams handled kick returns. Given the 49ers shutout, the only kick Williams handled was the game opener, which he returned 25 yards. Ginn had a busy day as he fielded four punts. He returned them for a total of 40 yards, with a long of 20. He was dealing with a solid bit of wind, but had no problems with the punts.
As the team looks ahead to their Week 5 matchup with the Bills, the injury news will continue to surround Brandon Jacobs and Isaac Sopoaga. Jacobs was limited in practice this past week, while Sopoaga did not participate in practice. Given that Ricky Jean-Francois held his own, and Ian Williams even worked in three snaps, I have to think the 49ers are going to be more than willing to take some time getting Sopoaga back in the lineup.
The 49ers face a Bills team that can run the ball, but also likes to put it up in the air a fair amount. Against New England, Buffalo threw the ball 39 times and rushed it 27 times. They have a chance for some balance with the increasingly healthy C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, but they still like to toss it up. if that's the case, the 49ers may go with more nickel than base defense. This would mean less nose tackle time, so one more reason to take some time getting Isaac Sopoaga back into game action.
As for Jacobs? Another week on the practice field will hopefully be enough to get him back in the game. The 49ers rushing attack has been plenty solid without him, but it would be nice to see how a little more thunder might help the unit. We'll see the first participation report on Wednesday. The 49ers were willing to get Ginn back out there after two weeks of limited practice, so we'll see if the same holds true for Jacobs.