While the San Francisco 49ers are expecting some of their offensive weapons in Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams back in action on Saturday against the New Orleans Saints, the team is now expected to be without tight end Delanie Walker. CSN Bay Area reported on Tuesday that Walker underwent an examination on Tuesday and that the team will re-evaluate him on Monday.
At that point, they'll know whether or not the 49ers will have him back in action, not to mention whether or not they'll need him back in action, as Saturday's game is for the Divisional Round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, and there could be no more football for San Francisco for some time if they don't pick up the win.
Still, it's significant to note that it's going to be that long for another evaluation. Rather, it's significant to note that he's already been ruled out for Saturday's game. Walker has been a prolific weapon in the 49ers' offense over the last few seasons, and has been a coaching favorite due to the matchup problems he presents going up against linebackers in pass coverage. He slowed down a lot this season, but that has more to do with his evolution as a blocker, and his receiving ability still has to be accounted for on every play.
Walker will not be placed on injured reserve, at least not yet, leaving the door open for a potential return if the 49ers make it to the NFC Championship, or perhaps the Super Bowl. Walker sustained a fractured jaw in two places against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 24. Justin Peelle will be the guy to take over in his absence.