After spending much of the season staying incredibly healthy, the 49ers suffered some tough injuries in Sunday's win over the New Orleans Saints. It was a veritable "body bag" game as Kidd2Petrovic described in the post-game injury article and Kyle Williams may have gotten the worst end of it.
On the same play that saw Kendall Hunter sprain his ankle, Williams went down and immediately reached for his left knee. ESPN initially reported it as potentially torn ligaments. Matt Barrows followed up indicating a league source said there is a fear that Williams' season is done. A source also told CSNBayArea.com that the injury is "not good."
I think we can all get the basic picture from these reports. The 49ers probably won't confirm anything right away, but at this point, Williams appears likely to miss some time.
What are the implications of that absence? First, Ted Ginn Jr. will reclaim the return job for now. Ginn had been handling punt and kick returns since his return from injury, but a fumbled punt return saw him get benched for the ensuing returns. Coach Harbaugh said after the game that it was because of a wrist issue, but I am a little bit skeptical.
The more significant potential is that wide receiver A.J. Jenkins may find himself active. Jenkins was active for the season opener but did not get on the field. Given Williams involvement in the offense and Ginn's own struggles in the wide receiver game, Jenkins may finally get his chance for some regular season playing time. While Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham have emerged as the two primary wide receivers, Kyle Williams has looked solid enough at times that there will be some targets to go around in his absence. Jenkins has a chance to stake his claim.