Battle is out, Gore is questionable for Sunday’s game

Receiver Arnaz Battle will miss his fifth game in six weeks on Sunday in Miami due to an aggravation his mid-foot sprain. Meanwhile, running back Frank Gore is questionable with his left ankle sprain.

Coach Mike Singletary said it will be a game-time decision whether Gore suits up for Sunday’s game in his hometown. More likely, it’ll be a decision that’ll be made Saturday. (And it does not look good.)

 

The deadline for the 49ers to make a roster move to promote running back Thomas Clayton from the practice squad is 4 p.m. (ET), 1 p.m. (PT).

 

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The 49ers expect punt-returner Allen Rossum to play for the first time since sustaining his ankle sprain Nov. 23 against Dallas. Battle and Nate Clements are the next in line to handle punts, but Battle is out and Clements has a broken right thumb. Therefore, if a backup is needed for Sunday’s game, first-year player Dominique Zeigler would take over, Singletary said.

 

Zeigler did not return any punts at Baylor, and he said he might have handled one or two in high school.

 

“He’s a guy we trust,” Singletary said.

 

Rossum is listed as probable, meaning it’s a near-certainty he’ll be available for normal duty. Clements is probable to return to his regular starting job at cornerback. Center Eric Heitmann (abdominal strain) and cornerback Marcus Hudson (concussion) are also probable.

 

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Receiver Josh Morgan will be back on the field for the first time since that Monday night game against the Cardinals. Bryant Johnson will start at split end, though.

 

Second-year player Jason Hill will continue to work in the slot as the 49ers’ No. 3 receiver.

 

With Hill, Zeigler and Morgan, the 49ers have reason to be encouraged for the future. Singletary praised those players, as well as the coaching they’ve received from Jerry Sullivan and coordinator Mike Martz.

 

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The Niners hit the road for an East Coast game against a playoff-contending team. Said Singletary, “Sounds a lot like Buffalo all over again.”

 

Yeah, except that the weather might be in the high 70s or low 80s on Sunday in Miami.

 

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Linebacker Patrick Willis was not fined for his big hit on Jets receiver Brad Smith, a league spokesman said. Willis has not been fined in his career.

 

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