Williams could open season as 49ers' punt returner


DENVER -- Kyle Williams might be back returning punts to open the 49ers' regular season.
Ted Ginn, the 49ers' top return man, hopped off the field and into the locker room Sunday with a right ankle sprain. Although X-rays were negative, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, Ginn's status for the opener Sept. 9 at the Green Bay Packers is in question.Ginn handled one fair catch on Sunday. He sustained his ankle injury when he was tackled on an end-around. With Ginn unavailable, Williams took over the duties in the 49ers' 29-24 victory Sunday over the Denver Broncos.Williams averaged 10.0 yards on three punt returns in a strong all-around game for the third-year player."I don't know how bad it is or if he'll be all right," Williams said of Ginn. "But, once again, my comfort level is 100 percent back there. If I have to step in and take care of that, I'm more than prepared and ready to go."Williams is the 49ers' No. 2 punt returner. The last time he filled in for Ginn was in the NFC championship game when his two turnovers were costly miscues in the 49ers' overtime loss to the New York Giants.Ginn missed the final two regular-season games a year ago with a sprain to the same ankle. He sustained a knee injury against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs that kept him out of the NFC championship game.Williams' contributions Sunday were not just confined to punt returns. He also turned a short Colin Kaepernick pass into a 46-yard gain. Williams also hustled down on punt coverage as a gunner late in the game and got involved in the action."He's definitely one of the guys in the hard-working category," Harbaugh said. "It seemed like a full game. A lot of action for Kyle. (He's) playing very well. Good in the return game and good on offensive side of the ball."

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