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Ginn's absence costly for 49ers, who botch two returns

The absence of injured WR/kick returner Ted Ginn was more costly than the 49ers ever could have realized.

Ginn missed Sunday's NFC title game in San Francisco with an injured right knee sustained last week against New Orleans and did not practice all week. He normally starts at receiver and returns kicks and punts. Kyle Williams took his place on returns and the Giants recovered his two fumbles, the second one setting up the winning field goal in overtime.

Saying bye: Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will not return, ESPN.com reported. His contract expires after this season. There reportedly is tension between him and QB Joe Flacco, who was upset over last year's firing of quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn.

Ochocinco out: Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco was inactive for Sunday's AFC title game. The team did not disclose a reason. Last week, he tweeted his father died, and two Boston media outlets reported he flew to Fort Lauderdale on Friday for the funeral. Also inactive for New England was rookie RB Stevan Ridley, who fumbled against Denver last week.

Injury: Patriots CB Kyle Arrington left in the second quarter with an eye injury. The team did not disclose details.

Around the league

Colts: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, brother of former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, turned down an offer to interview for the coaching vacancy, CBS reported. Earlier this month, he declined to interview for the Jaguars' job and signed a three-year extension.

Raiders: Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss interviewed for the coaching vacancy last week, ESPN.com reported.

Walter Payton Award: Ravens C Matt Birk, Chargers QB Philip Rivers and Bears CB Charles Tillman were named finalists for the award for players who combine community service with strong play. The winner will be named Feb. 4. G Davin Joseph was the Bucs' nominee.

Ginn's absence costly for 49ers, who botch two returns 01/22/12 [Last modified: Sunday, January 22, 2012 11:15pm]

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