Johnson To Have MRI
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Johnson is coming off a career-high 10 reception game.
Eric Johnson left practice Wednesday to undergo an MRI exam on his ribs late in the afternoon.
The 49ers tight end was hit in the ribs sometime last Sunday against the St. Louis Rams
“He came out and tried to practice and he has bruised ribs and wasn’t able to finish,” Dennis Erickson
said. “They took an X-Ray Monday and everything seemed positive. He was sore today so they’re going to give him an MRI and see where he’s at. That’s a new addition.”
Results of the MRI exam will be available Thursday morning and certainly the 49ers will hope for the best. Johnson has emerged as the primary weapon in the 49ers offense and leads all tight ends with 28 receptions for 298 yards this season.
He posted a career-high 10 receptions for 113 yards against the Rams.
“He’s a guy that has made a lot of plays for us. Soon, you’re going to see him doubled. They’ve got to inside-out him and now we’re going to be one-on-one outside a lot, so we have to make plays out there,” Erickson said. “It depends on what they want to do. If they are going to play zone against us, then he’ll have his opportunities. He can find the zone really well. That’s what he really does well. He can recognize coverages and break off backers.
"He’s made a lot of plays. He’s probably one of the better receivers at that position that I’ve been around.”
When the 49ers face the Cardinals this Sunday at Monster Park, they will be facing one of the league’s most improved teams. Don’t be fooled by their 1-3 record as their losses have come against Atlanta, New England and St. Louis. Their lone victory was an impressive, 34-10 dismantling of the New Orleans Saints.
“They are much improved. They are very physical on defense. They are very big up front. Their defensive line is awfully good. The linebackers move around really well. They are a team that doesn’t gamble a lot. They will sit there and force you to throw the football down the field,” Erickson said. “They blitz some, but not a great deal. But they are good. They’ve played really well. They held St. Louis to seven points or whatever they held them to. It’s an awfully good effort on the road. They played very well against New Orleans.
“And really when you look at the New England game, they had their chances there until the fourth quarter. They are much improved. They have some skill on offense. Emmitt (Smith) played very well last week. They are big; they are big in the offensive line too.”
Jeff Ulbrich missed practice with the flu. He is expected back Thursday…Derek Smith is on crutches and will be out at least a month according to Erickson…If John Engelberger is unable to start Sunday, Tony Brown would start at right end and Brandon Whiting gets the nod at left end.