Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Kyle Shanahan: Jimmie Ward 'definitely questionable' for Sunday's game

Kyle Shanahan: Jimmie Ward 'definitely questionable' for Sunday's game

37th regular-season meeting. But after Lynch retired before last season (he since returned with the Raiders this year) Seattle's rushing attack wasn't the same. The 49ers also lost their opening game. The 49ers are in rebuild mode under new general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.

The San Francisco 49ers would love a bounce back performance after getting beat up by the Carolina Panthers, 23-3. San Francisco no longer has quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but instead employs Brian Hoyer at the position. Running backs Jonathan Stewart and rookie Christian McCaffrey combined to rush for 112 yards, but it took 31 carries (3.6 average). But they weren't able to run it much because they trailed. And they will be trying to show improvement against one of the best defenses in the league.

Lynch said his young team has to look at the Seahawks noisy, frenetic atmosphere and its hyper-aggressive style of play as an opportunity. The Seahawks offense will likely be looking to open up offensively and get Doug Baldwin more involved in Wilson's plans, and the 49ers secondary could be in for a lot of suffering on the day. Others include receiver Mario Manningham (knee), nose tackle Ian Williams (ankle), nose tackle Glenn Dorsey and Bowman, whose 2014 season was washed out after he suffered a multi-ligament knee injury in the 2013 NFC Championship game. Seattle was woefully ineffective on the ground in last week's opener against the Packers.

Things are going to get more complicated in the Seahawks' backfield Sunday with the return of starter Thomas Rawls. Losing the opening game is not awful.

"Richard Sherman called me the most". Sherman and Garcon had heated battles when Garcon was with Washington. But the team's six-game losing streak in Seattle definitely has been part of the locker room conversation. The veteran has gone 6-10 in previous road starts, winning twice at Cincinnati and once each at Jacksonville, Tennessee, Atlanta and Minnesota. He made seven tackles and forced a fumble in the last game in Seattle. What they mostly want is for a running game of some kind to materialize after the Seahawks gained just 90 yards last week, with 40 coming on two scrambles by Russell Wilson. Seattle DE Michael Bennett had 1.5 sacks in Week 1 and is aiming for his sixth game in a row with a sack.

Richard Sherman warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

If that doesn't happen today when the Seahawks take on the San Francisco 49ers, though, then the doubts about this team and season will not only increase in intensity but take on added validity.

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