YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- There was no plan this week to write about the New York Jets' backup quarterback.After all, I don't remember ever writing about a backup quarterback on a team facing the 49ers when the starter's job was not in immediate doubt.When reporters who cover the 49ers had Jets coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez on separate conference calls this week, there was not one mention of media darling Tim Tebow.But, then, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio ruined it.Fangio was asked Thursday a general question about the preparing for the Jets. In his answer, he mentioned all the different personnel packages for which the 49ers must prepare.He concluded: "They'll give you the Tebow package, which you have to prepare for, so theyre very multiple."Tebow, a 46.5-percent passer last season with the Denver Broncos, is much more effective as a runner.He gained 660 yards and six touchdowns rushing last season for the Broncos, who won the AFC West and pulled out a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In three games with the Jets, who acquired him in an offseason trade, Tebow has been on the field for 24 offensive snaps and 17 special-teams plays. Tebow is averaging 5.4 yards a rushing attempt. He has not attempted a pass.So does the "Tebow package" pose any real threat to the 49ers?"Well, you have to take it very serious because they'll play him some in there and it's more like it gets back to the college-type offense where there's the gun read," Fangio said. "The quarterback runs where he fakes it and then keeps it and it's just a quarterback power. It's an everyday power, but it's with the 11th guy on the field not the 10th. So you do have to prepare for it."Linebacker Patrick Willis, who has not missed any practice time this week after leaving Sunday's game late with a right ankle sprain, said he watched some Tebow film from last season to help him prepare against the Jets."We know he's had some success running that in Denver, and I think they've run that a few times this year," Willis said. "So it's something we're preparing for, but mostly prepare for their offense, as a whole."We don't know if they're going to try to incorporate a lot of it or use it a little bit. Whatever they decide to do, we're going to be prepared for it."
The 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without their top running backs on Sunday when the teams meet at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
The 49ers on Friday officially ruled out running back Carlos Hyde from participating in the game due to a right shoulder injury he sustained in the 49ers’ 45-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Buccaneers also announced running back Doug Martin would be unavailable because of a hamstring injury.
Hyde leads the 49ers with 429 yards and six touchdowns on 109 rushing attempts. Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn are expected to fill in for Hyde. The club is also expected to promote DuJuan Harris from the practice squad to be available.
Cornerback Rashard Robinson is listed as questionable, along with wide receiver Torrey Smith (back) and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (knee). Robinson continues to go through the league’s concussion return-to-play protocol.
Cornerback Jimmie Ward has been cleared for action. He is expected to return after a three-week absence due to a right quadriceps strain.
49ers injury report
RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
CB Rashard Robinson (concussion)
WR Torrey Smith (back)
Buccaneers injury report
DE Robert Ayers (ankle)
RB Doug Martin (hamstring)
DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring)
Questionable CB Jude Adjei-Barimah (knee)
C Joe Hawley (knee)
DT Gerald McCoy (calf)
WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring),
TE Luke Stocker (ankle)
SANTA CLARA -- Mike Davis’ first NFL season left him less than fulfilled.
He broke his hand and did not appear in 10 games. When he did play, his 1.7-yard average led to some whispers the 49ers’ fourth-round draft pick was already a bust.
Davis lived the disappointment. He heard the criticism.
On Sunday, he has his first big chance this season to prove himself. Davis is expected to see significant playing time – and, perhaps, his first NFL start – with Carlos Hyde out of action with a shoulder injury. The 49ers face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.
Davis dedicated himself after his rookie season to a body makeover. He swore off Flamin' Hot Cheetos, his favored snack. He dropped from 217 pounds to 205 – his lowest weight since high school. Davis’ body fat dropped from 18 percent to less than 12 percent.
“I feel more confident in myself,” Davis said. “I feel my power is the same. The only thing I feel is really different is the speed and the mindset. My mindset has changed since last year as well.”
Davis opened this season as the 49ers’ No. 3 running back. He rose up the depth chart last week, supplanting Shaun Draughn, as Hyde’s backup. Coach Chip Kelly said Davis has made improvements that led to his promotion.
“Just hitting the hole, timing, making the right cuts,” Kelly said. “You’re burying yourself into the back of the guard or are you working off of the guard’s block and getting yourself to the second level and not getting touched by a linebacker, finishing runs, showing good vision. That’s kind of what you’re looking for in a running back when you’re going through practice.”
Davis carried five times for 13 yards in the 49ers’ 45-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In 12 career games, Davis has just 76 yards rushing on 45 attempts.
While Kelly rates Hyde and Draughn as more-accomplished receivers out of the backfield, he noted that Davis has improved that aspect of his game, as well as his pass protection.
“With coach Tom Rathman as your coach, he makes sure we know exactly what we’re doing,” Davis said. “He won’t put you out there if he doesn’t think you can handle it. I just made sure I go through the right steps and make sure I’m prepared into the game.
“I feel confident as ever. With Tom, we spend extra time and he makes sure our eyes are in the right place. That’s one thing we talk about more than anything.”