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49ers goat to return punts

Kyle Williams, right, fumbling a punt in overtime of the NFC title game in January, likely will return punts Sunday for the 49ers.

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Kyle Williams, right, fumbling a punt in overtime of the NFC title game in January, likely will return punts Sunday for the 49ers.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The last time the 49ers' Kyle Williams circled under a punt that mattered, the Giants won the NFC title game against San Francisco. Williams is likely to get an opportunity to atone Sunday.

With Ted Ginn questionable, Williams is expected to return punts in the season opener against the Packers. With Ginn injured for the NFC title game in January, Williams muffed a punt that led to a touchdown, then fumbled one in overtime that led to the winning field goal.

"We've always been extremely confident in Kyle back there as punt returner and a kickoff returner," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday.

Williams did not speak with reporters this week. The 49ers said they have not asked him to tone down his aggressive style. "That's the way we want to play," special teams coordinator Brad Seely said. "We want to go after it."

Jaguars: Starting linebacker Daryl Smith had a setback in his recovery from a groin injury and will sit out Sunday against the Vikings. Kyle Bosworth will replace him.

Jets: Defensive tackle Sione Po'uha (sore back) is questionable for Sunday against the Bills, not out, as coach Rex Ryan previously said. Also, tight end Dustin Keller is expected to play after missing time with a sore hamstring.

Panthers: Running back Jonathan Stewart remains questionable for Sunday's game against the Bucs. He has not fully practiced since injuring an ankle during the third preseason game.

Redskins: General manager Bruce Allen said he will consider re-signing tight end Chris Cooley, who was released Aug. 28 after eight seasons with the team. "We've left the door open with Chris and continue to have dialogue," he said.

Seahawks: Starting running back Marshawn Lynch, limited at practice by back spasms, remained questionable for Sunday against the Cardinals.

Steelers: Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison, recovering from knee surgery, did not practice for a second straight day, making it unlikely he will play Sunday vs. the Broncos. Running back Isaac Redman, expected to start for Rashard Mendenhall (torn ACL) said his ankle felt better and he and Jonathan Dwyer would split carries.

Texans: Running back Arian Foster (knee) and linebacker Brooks Reed (hip) missed practice and will be game-time decisions Sunday against the Dolphins. Foster, the league's leading rusher in 2010, said, "I expect to play."

Titans: Starting defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is doubtful for Sunday against the Patriots after missing his third straight practice with a sprained right knee.

Vikings: Running back Adrian Peterson, who had reconstructive knee surgery in December, remained questionable for the Jaugars on Sunday.

Bomb threat: A judge in Detroit sentenced Lions fan Shawn H. Payton to three years' probation, including 60 days of home confinement, for phoning in a bomb threat to the Superdome during the Saints' playoff win over the Lions in January. He pleaded guilty to twice calling the stadium.

49ers goat to return punts 09/08/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 8, 2012 12:33am]

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