October 10 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
THIS CONTENT IS COPYWRITED, REDISTRIBUTION OF IT (including copy/pasting it to a message board, forum or bbs) IS PROHIBITED AND COULD RESULT IN LEGAL ACTIONS - feel free to quote up to 1 paragraph providing a source link to http://www.49ersparadise.cjb.net is included
The 49ers walked away from the Rams game in relatively good shape. They had just one injury, but that injury could prove all to painful. JJ Stokes was the injured player, a second degree MCL sprain that may have him miss up to three games, or may have him ready to play against the Seahawks. Itís still unknown at this point. Stokes was just beginning to become a threat when he went down, if he misses substantial play time, this could be a very hard season for fellow receiver Terrell Owens. Though some fans will actually cherish the opportunity to see what Tai Streets and Cedrick Wilson can do in the offense.
The 49ers expect safety Ronnie Heard to return to action this week. That will allow Frank Strong to shift his attention back to linebacker he will remain the emergency safety however. Heardís return should help solidify a defensive backfield that performed very well this season.
Both Paul Smith and Jamie Winborn are not expected back for this game. The 49ers are hoping that the two players will resume practice the following week, but it may take even longer for their return.
Josh Shaw who sits on the teamís physically unable to perform list was due to return to practice some time very soon. Shaw is running, which is big progress after damaging both his MCL and ACL in his knee. The team has not stated when Shaw will return to practice.
On a bit of a side note, it seems that MCL sprains are becoming more and more popular in football these days. I wonder if this is a result of more precise diagnosis or if it is a result of something being done in training, stretching or with the padding that players are wearing.