SAN FRANCISCO (8-2-1) At ST. LOUIS (4-6-1)Sunday, 1 p.m., FOXOPENING LINE - 49ers by 7RECORD VS. SPREAD - San Francisco 7-4; St. Louis 7-4SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 62-61-3AP PRO32 RANKING - 49ers No. 2; Rams No. 22LAST MEETING - Rams 24, 49ers 24 (tie), Nov. 11LAST WEEK - 49ers beat Saints 31-21; Rams beat Cardinals 31-17STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - First meeting of season ended in NFL's first tie since 2008. 49ers 7-1-1 in last nine meetings with lone loss in St. Louis in 2010. ... 49ers 10-3 on road since 2011 under coach Jim Harbaugh, tied with Texans for NFL's best in that span, and lead NFL allowing 14.1 points per game. ... 49ers have NFL's top rushing offense, averaging 163 yards. ... Rams 3-0-1 vs. NFC West opponents and guaranteed of first winning record in division since 2004. ... Harbaugh 2-0-1 vs. Rams. ... Frank Gore is 49ers all-time leading rusher with 8,539 yards and Steven Jackson is Rams' all-time leading rusher with 9,817 yards. ... 49ers WR Michael Crabtree has TD catch in five consecutive games against Rams. ... Gore has 12 TDs vs. Rams, tied with Lenny Moore for most in NFL. ... DE Aldon Smith has 30 12 career sacks and needs one to pass Hall of Famer Reggie White for most in first two seasons in NFL. Smith has 12 sacks in last five games. ... Rams QB Sam Bradford has completed 71 percent of passes with four TDs and no interceptions in three starts vs. 49ers, and 3-0-1 in last four division starts. ... Jackson rushed for 101 yards and TD in last meeting and since 2006 has NFL-best 10,721 yards from scrimmage. Jackson had season-best 139 yards rushing last week. ... Rookie WR Chris Givens had five catches for 115 yards and TD last week and has catch for 35-plus yards in six of last seven games. ... Last week, CB Janoris Jenkins became fourth rookie in NFL history with two interception returns for TDs in game.
SANTA CLARA -- Safety Jimmie Ward was cleared Wednesday morning to begin practicing with his teammates after missing nearly four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Ward underwent conditioning tests on Monday and Tuesday to complete the final hurdles before the club activated him off the physically unable to perform list.
Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test on the eve of training camp.
Ward was moved to cornerback last season, where he started 10 games.
He finished the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the 49ers' primary nickel back in his first two NFL seasons.
Jaquiski Tartt originally took over at free safety at the beginning of camp. But after Tartt missed significant practice time with a ribs injury, undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome stepped in.
Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games at free safety.
SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde, the 49ers’ No. 1 running back, has gained just 26 yards on 10 carries in the first two exhibition games.
But aside from a play Saturday night against the Denver Broncos when he did not gain as many yards as coach Kyle Shanahan thought he should, the 49ers appear satisfied with what they’ve seen from Hyde.
“It takes 11 guys to execute a play,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “Usually, the guy with the ball in his hands is the one who’s rewarded or blamed. But I’ve been happy with Carlos’ reps during the preseason.
“I definitely want to do better. I want to score every time we call a play, so I’m usually disappointed if it doesn’t end in a touchdown. But he’s done a good job for us.”
That does not mean that Hyde has been perfect. Shanahan recounted a play on Saturday in which Hyde did not read the blocking correctly and gained fewer yards than his coach expected.
“There was one run in particular I thought the O-line blocked it for about a 4-yard gain and he got 1 yard,” Shanahan said. “(He was) trying to do too much on one play, which happens a lot with running backs. So there was one play he left about 3 yards on the field.”
Hyde finished the first half with gains of 6, 2, 7 and 7 on a series that ended with a lost fumble from backup running back Tim Hightower.
“We blocked well and he got to the right hole and when contact hit him at 5 yards, he fell for 2 more,” Shanahan said of Hyde. “So I thought he got exactly what we blocked for and a little more after that.”