SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2004) -- Quarterback Ken Dorsey is expected to make his first NFL start for the San Francisco 49ers after Tim Rattay
was diagnosed with a separated right shoulder.
Coach Dennis Erickson said Dorsey, the former University of Miami star and a seventh-round draft pick in 2003, will start in New Orleans on Sunday
unless Rattay's injury heals much more quickly than expected.
"He's ready for it," Erickson said. "We have a lot of confidence in him, or else we wouldn't do it. It doesn't have to do with anything other than
Rattay was injured while getting sacked by Atlanta's Rod Coleman in the second quarter of the 49ers' 21-19 loss to the Falcons in Week 1.
Dorsey took over and led two scoring drives in his first NFL action. But after Dorsey got a stinger in his right shoulder late in the third quarter,
Rattay returned and led three lengthy drives, throwing two touchdown passes.
But an MRI exam on Monday revealed a serious shoulder separation for Rattay, who has struggled with a groin injury and a sore forearm during the
offseason and training camp of his first year as the 49ers' starter.
"I was just getting over the groin (injury), and I got the forearm," Rattay said. "And then I was getting over the forearm, and I get this. I'm
keeping those guys busy in (the training room)."
Rattay finished his fourth NFL start 18 of 31 for 175 yards, while Dorsey was 9 of 15 for 111 yards.
Rattay, who also felt "hazy" after Coleman's sack, believes he can get healthy enough to play Sunday, perhaps even returning to practice later in the
week. But Dorsey, who had shaken off his stinger on Monday, will work with the 49ers' first-team offense Wednesday.
"That's just football," Dorsey said. "I'll be ready to go."