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Gerald Hodges availability for 49ers on Sunday depends on special teams, playbook

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The San Francisco 49ers acquired linebacker Gerald Hodges earlier this week, and he is quickly trying to get up to speed with the team. He joined the team at practice yesterday, and here is some quick video of him working the sled at practice.

#49ers LB Gerald Hodges attacking the sled at practice! #NinerFans #ForeverFaithful #SpotSakamoto

A video posted by Ryan Sakamoto (@sakamotoryan_) on

Eric Mangini was asked about Hodges availability for Sunday, and naturally he pumped the brakes a bit. He emphasized the importance of learning his role on special teams, as well as that of the defensive side of things.

"We'll have to see. Really, after you go through the physical yesterday and all the stuff he had to take care of in the morning. We'll see how he does each one of these days. Part of that is how does he fit into special teams? That's a big component of it as well."

My guess is Hodges will be inactive this first game, and then active when the 49ers return home to face the Baltimore Ravens. If he picks up the special teams work quickly, I suppose he might end up on the active 46.

Right now, NaVorro Bowman and Michael Wilhoite are the starting inside linebackers. After we first heard about the trade, there was some chatter it might have been connected to the exchange between Wilhoite and Tomsula during the Packers loss. Tomsula shot that down quickly. One of the strengths in scouting reports about Hodges is his coverage skills. One option might be rotating him in when the team goes into their nickel defense.