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49ers LB Hodges to return to starting lineup; Patton, Ward on IR

Dec 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM--


49ers LB Hodges to return to starting lineup; Patton, Ward on IR Inside linebacker Gerald Hodges said he'll return to the starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Rams after he violated team rules and didn't play in a 41-13 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Without Hodges, the 49ers had just one inside linebacker after Nick Bellore was injured on their third defensive play. Wide receiver Quinton Patton's foot injury has provided wideout DeAndre Smelter with his first chance to step onto the field in the regular season. The 49ers placed Patton on injured reserve Tuesday and promoted Smelter from the practice squad. Smelter, a 2015 fourth-round pick, hasn't played in a preseason or regular-season game since he was drafted. Smelter joins a wide receiver corps that also could be without Torrey Smith (concussion), who hasn't practiced since he was injured Dec. 11. In other injury news, the 49ers placed cornerback Jimmie Ward (shoulder) on injured reserve and promoted rookie cornerback Prince Charles Iworah, a seventh-round pick, from the practice squad. Left tackle Joe Staley (hamstring), center Marcus Martin (ankle), defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, A 2010 seventh-round pick of...
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