The San Francisco 49ers absolutely destroyed the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in every aspect of the game with the exception of special teams. The 49ers beat the Jaguars, 42-10 behind the incredible play of Colin Kaepernick, the consistency of Frank Gore and a stout defense holding the Jaguars to ten points as well as scoring a touchdown of their own. The only thing that prevented a complete victory was the play of Kyle Williams.
Williams has been the punt and kick returner this season for the 49ers but he may not see the field as a returner for the rest of the season. On Sunday, he fumbled the opening kickoff but fortunately recovered his own fumble and later in the game, he muffed a punt out of bounds. Ball security has not been a problem for Williams all season so it was shocking to see Williams struggle on Sunday. The 49ers were fortunate that the Jaguars could not capitalize on his mistakes, which led to the 49ers making a change at the position. Anthony Dixon replaced him later in the game as the kick returner and performed well which sparked a returner controversy.
This has not been the first time Williams has had problems in the return game. In the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants in 2012, Williams made two huge mistakes which resulted in a 20-17 OT loss and costing the 49ers a trip to the Super Bowl. In the 4th quarter, he muffed a punt that went off his leg that led to the go ahead touchdown and in overtime, he fumbled once again that led to the game-winning field goal, sending the Giants to the Super Bowl.
Williams has not contributed much in the passing game either. Williams has only 11 receptions for 108 yards and no touchdowns in eight games this season. On Sunday, he caught one pass for 7 yards and he dropped another two passes. It will be a welcome site for the 49ers when Mario Manningham comes back because he will provide Kaepernick with a reliable receiver, something the 49ers desperately need. The only reliable receivers all season have been Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. Manningham can step into Williams’ role as the number two receiver and provide a lift to the 49ers’ struggling passing game.
If Williams can not contribute in the passing game and now special teams, why should he be on this roster? The 49ers should try to trade him or cut him with Manningham and possibly Michael Crabtree contributing to the receiving corps in the near future. Getting rid of Williams may also give LaMichael James an opportunity in the return game, a job he had last season where he was explosive when Williams was hurt. In any case, Williams should not see the field the rest of the season and the 49ers will be better for it.
What should the 49ers do with Kyle Williams?
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