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SANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Carlos Rogers told reporters at the 49ers practice facility on Tuesday that he has experienced no setbacks and expects to be ready to play Sunday in the NFC Championship game.
But Rogers, who has missed the past two games with a right hamstring strain, will have to prove to the 49ers’ coaching staff during practices this week that he provides an upgrade over the players who have been on the field for playoff victories at Green Bay and Carolina.
Rogers started every game for the 49ers since signing in 2011 before sustaining the injury in the regular-season finale at Arizona. When he was out of action against Green Bay, Tramaine Brock moved to left cornerback with Tarell Brown returning to a starting role at right cornerback.
Perrish Cox, whom the club re-signed the day after Rogers’ injury, earned the trust of the coaching staff over veteran Eric Wright to cover the slot receiver on passing downs.
If Rogers returns to practice this week, as planned, the 49ers must make decisions on how to use Rogers.
Will he bump Brock or Brown from the starting lineup as one of the 49ers’ top two cornerbacks? Or will he replace Cox as the nickel back?
The Seahawks used three-receiver formations for approximately half of their offensive plays last week against the New Orleans Saints. When the opposition uses three receivers, the 49ers counter with their nickel defense.