The team force a pay reduction upon him right before the 2011 season, figuring Ginn was no longer worth the contract he'd signed a first-round choice in Miami years earlier. That seemed fairly reasonable, but only for about a week.
Ginn scored twice on special-teams returns during a 33-17 victory over Seattle in the opener. He contributed key returns all season as the 49ers used field position to their advantage while posting a 13-3 record. And when the 49ers lost Ginn to injury late in the season, his absence proved crucial during the team's overtime defeat to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game.
So, when Ginn limped off the field Sunday during the 49ers' third game of this exhibition season, the team had reason for concern. X-rays on Ginn's ankle were negative, coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters after the game. But there's now a chance, at least, that Ginn's injury will keep him from playing against Green Bay in the opener Sept. 9.
Ginn's replacement against the Giants, Kyle Williams, never shied away from the miscues that played a leading role in keeping the 49ers from the Super Bowl. He owned up to his mistakes. He vowed to persevere. He worked extra-hard this offseason and has generally performed well. The 49ers would be better off with Ginn, most likely, but everything we've learned about Williams suggests he'll atone for what went wrong in the playoffs.