|Ginn is an integral cog in San Francisco's No. 2 special-teams unit. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
The 49ers could be without one of their most explosive players when they face the Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship game. Return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. isn't expected to play, sources tell ProFootballTalk.com. He is officially listed as a game-time decision after suffering a knee injury in last week's win over the Saints.
Ginn is the former ninth-overall selection of the Dolphins, drafted in 2007 when many Miami fans were hoping for quarterback Brady Quinn. Ginn didn't pan out as a big-play wide receiver and was eventually traded to San Francisco for a 2010 fifth-rounder (145th overall). The Dolphins selected cornerback Nolan Carroll with that pick, who has four starts in two seasons but is best known as "that guy tripped by former Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi."
Like Carroll, Ginn started just three games in 2011 but his most valuable contributions have come on special teams. In Week 1 against the Seahawks, Ginn returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, and 51 seconds later, he returned a punt 55 yards for another score. In 2009, he scored on kickoff returns of 101 and 102 yards in the same quarter against the Jets, the first player in NFL history to do so.
According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers have the league's No. 2 special teams unit thanks in part to Ginn, kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee.
After dominating the Green Bay Packers last week, the New York Giants will travel to Candlestick Park to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they break down this matchup.
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