St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

NFC: Winless 49ers not helping Erickson get any sleep

wire services
Published September 4, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Coach Dennis Erickson didn't sleep much after his 49ers finished the preseason as the only winless team. And unless they improve in a hurry, he might not rest easily this season.

The Chargers beat San Francisco 31-15 Thursday night, giving the Niners four straight losses before the season opener Sept. 12 against the Falcons.

Plenty of things kept Erickson awake after his drive home. His club lost three fumbles and committed six key penalties, including three straight that negated three touchdown passes by Ken Dorsey.

The defense was spotty, alternating solid plays and dismal ones. And punter Andy Lee brought back horrible memories of last season when he bobbled a snap as a holder for kicker Todd Peterson.

"I kept waking up, seeing that," said Erickson, who was reminded of former punter Bill LaFleur's comical misadventures as a holder last season.

COWBOYS: Safety Darren Woodson was put on the physically unable to perform list and will miss at least the first five games of the season. Woodson had a herniated disc removed from his back in late July. Going on the list means he can't be activated until after the sixth week; Dallas has its bye week during that span so it's only a five-game stretch. Also, rookie offensive lineman Stephen Peterman (knee) was put on injured reserve, knocking him out for the season, and several players were waived: kicker Matt Bryant, receiver Zuriel Smith and defensive lineman Ryan Wingrove.

LIONS: Safety Brock Marion has a bruised right knee but is expected to play in the Sept. 12 opener at Chicago.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.