The 49ers made it through their preseason week three matchup with the Broncos in relatively good health, but they did have to deal with a couple pertinent injuries. Wide receiver and kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. was hobbled one the second play of the third quarter when he gained nine yards on an end around. After getting tackled, he quickly got up and hopped to the sideline.
Coach Harbaugh indicated after the game that x-rays were negative. It seems likely that Ginn will sit out Thursday's game against the Chargers and Kyle Williams will handle the number one punt return duties. LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter had handled kick returns the first two games, so we'll see how that plays out on Thursday, particularly if James (the primary kick returner the first two weeks) sits out. It sounds like Kyle Williams is plenty confident going back as the punt returner. He told the press after the game that "my comfort level is 100 percent back there. If I have to step in and take care of that, I'm more than prepared and ready to go."
The other injury was to outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari. The 49ers linebacker took a knee to the helmet in the second quarter and had to go to one knee when he tried to get up. I won't speculate on what kind of injury he suffered, so hopefully we'll get some more information at today's press conference. Vic Fangio is addressing the media today, so I'm not holding my breath for more details. We will probably just have to wait and see whether he is available this Thursday.
In Bakhtiari's absence, Ikaika Alama-Francis got some additional playing time. If Bakhtiari can't go this Thursday, IAF would get more playing time, and Demarcus Dobbs would likely get one more chance to impress as the nickel defensive end.