Doubtful Mario Manningham Means A.J. Jenkins Could Make Debut
The injury report for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers is just the way both teams want it, boring. Despite 19 listed between the two teams, only one player, Mario Manningham is listed as doubtful, and even he will be a game time decision. An injury is never a good thing, but fans can get excited over the fact that a rookie may finally step foot on the field, as if Manningham is unable to go, it could mean the debut for A.J Jenkins.
Will Jenkins Play?
Mario Manningham has missed practice all week with a shoulder injury, and can still play, but it doesn’t make sense to send a banged up Manningham on the field over A.J. Jenkins. The 49ers rookie has yet to see any playing time this year, but that has had a lot to do with the names in front of him, and it’s more then understandable that he would be buried at the bottom of the depth chart. With Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Manningham on the same roster, he would have had to do something spectacular to snatch playing time from one of them. Like most new-comers to the league Jenkins has had to patiently wait his turn, and it appears his time has arrived. If not on the field Sunday, it could mean absolutely nothing, or indicate where Jenkins is at (or not at) in his development.
Moss or Jenkins?
The receiving core has slowly been depleted week to week, and if not called into duty it could mean that the coaches feel that Jenkins has not picked up the system well enough. One of two things will happen if Manningham does not play. The team will either turn to the rookie to not only help the team out, but audition for a role in the playoffs. If Jenkins is still a year or so away, then the team will be forced to ask Randy Moss to stay on the field more. Both players give San Francisco a deep threat, but it plays in the 49ers favor if Jenkins can be a reliable target and contribute.
Minor Injuries For Both Teams
San Francisco’s long list of names on the injury report mean very little, as no position is undermanned, and no player is listed as out. Other then Manningham, Tarell Brown missed a day of practice due to a sore hamstring, but participated in full practice on Friday and will be ready to go by kickoff.
Miami will also be at full strength, with not a single player listed as out. Safety Jimmy Wilson has been slowed with a gimpy hip, but is not a starter, and regardless figures to play, so the Dolphins will have no worries on the injury front, other the n the typical in game injuries that occur weekly.
San Francisco 49ers
*Wide Receiver: Mario Manningham
*Corner back: Tarell Brown—Knee
*Kicker: David Akers—Pelvis
*Cornerback: Chris Culliver—Illness
*Linebacker: Aldon Smith—Shoulder
*Linebacker: NaVorro Bowman—Shoulder
*Linebacker: Tavares Gooden—Elbow, knee
*Running Back: Frank Gore—Wrist
*Guard: Mike Iupati—Shoulder
*Cornerback: Carlos Rogers—Knee
*Linebacker: Patrick Willis—Shoulder
*Safety: Jimmy Wilson—Hip
*Tight End: Charles Clay—Ribs
*Punter: Brandon Fields—Knees
*Linebacker: Karlos Dansby—Biceps
*Tight End: Anthony Fasano—Hip
*Running back: Jorvorskie Lane—Knee
*Linebacker: Koa Misi—Finger
*Linebacker: Austin Splitler—Ankle
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Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. His work can be found on Examiner.com.