Jim Harbaugh didn’t even need words to affirm the news: A.J. Jenkins could finally step between the lines for some NFL regular season action on Sunday against Miami.
Harbaugh nodded his head on Friday when asked if the first-round pick wideout could see action to help fill the void likely to be left by Mario Manningham. The veteran receiver did not practice this week with a shoulder injury and was listed as doubtful on the final injury report.
“I’ve seen progress from A.J,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been on his assignments. He’s executed well when he’s been out there. So, he’s given great effort. Football rewards that effort.”
Jenkins was picked No. 30 overall by the 49ers in April’s draft after catching 90 passes for 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns at Illinois. The young talent recently told reporters that he feels comfortable at all of the receiver positions, while emphasizing his ability to play in the slot.
Though Manningham will likely be sidelined on Sunday, starting cornerback Tarell Brown – the team’s other biggest health question mark at the beginning of the week – sounded confident he’ll be able to play.
“I’ll be fine,” Brown said Friday. “Just listening to the trainers, doing what’s best for my body and going off what the team wants me to do.”
Brown said his injured hamstring has been nagging him for some time and that he benefitted from sitting out Wednesday’s practice to heal.
“I’ll be ready to go on Sunday,” Brown said.
The 49ers will be trying to bounce back from last week’s tough 16-13 overtime loss at St. Louis. Under the direction of Harbaugh, the 49ers are yet to lose consecutive games, winning all five contests following a defeat since the beginning of 2011.
After each loss, Harbaugh said he noticed the players on his team seem to be “ticked off.”
“Usually when you’re ticked off you’re going to do one of two things,” Harbaugh said, “you’re going to come back and do something about it, or you go cower in the corner and shrivel up in the fetal position. Probably one of those two things is what people do. So, come back, chest somebody up and let’s do something about it.”
Given the amount of top-notch character guys in his locker room, Harbaugh hasn’t been surprised to find out the 49ers respond strong in the face of adversity. Looking forward to Sunday, Harbaugh said it will be tough challenge to establish the run against the Dolphins.
“They’re as good and better in some areas than we’ve faced,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a tremendous front seven, excellent defensive line and a secondary that’s big, athletic, can run.”
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Mario Manningham
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