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When Ted Ginn almost let a bouncing punt hit him in the leg and end up in a turnover, I had to fight off the first of several seizures. I fell out of my chair and only Ed Hochuli's mangled but fortuitous interpretation of what had happened pulled me out of it.
That being said, that play should never have happened to begin with. If you cannot field a punt cleanly on the fly, then the next best thing is to get as far away from the ball as possible. Especially when half the kicking team's coverage unit is bearing down on you.
Ginn has been a very, very good return man for the 49ers, but his time in this role is quickly coming to an end. He also almost muffed another punt late in the game at a time when a turnover could have cemented the Patriots' near comeback.
The fact is that Ginn offers absolutely nothing as the fourth receiver. Considering that the 49ers rarely ever put three receivers on the field at once, let alone four, he has no value whatsoever if he isn't excelling as a punt returner.
Quite frankly, there really isn't much reason to keep him around any longer. If LaMichael James can prove that he can handle punt-return duties, then Ginn becomes totally obsolete. After his shaky performances the last couple of weeks, I expect the 49ers coaching staff to give James every opportunity in practice to prove that he can handle punts as well as kickoffs. Don't be surprised if Ginn isn't even an active player next week.