EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Smith hurt his right shoulder against Seattle on Sept. 30 and he did not play the following week against Baltimore. He had last week off with a bye, but coach Mike Nolan felt he wasn't ready to play this week and gave Trent Dilfer a second straight start.
San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a sprained knee.
Giants rookie receiver Steve Smith was inactive for the fourth straight week with a shoulder injury.
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These two teams are still trying to find an identity and a win on Sunday would go a long way toward that goal. A loss by either team would put it in a hole in the playoff race that would be hard to climb out of. There are rumblings coming out of the 49ers' fan base in San Francisco, where they expected more improvement this season, and in New York, where anything less than a deep playoff run could spell doom for head coach Tom Coughlin. The Giants have rebounded from an 0-2 start with four straight wins while the 49ers have lost three straight after a 2-0 start.