Vernon Davis has Rams wary this time

The San Francisco 49ers haven't thrown a third-and-1 pass to Vernon Davis since last season.

That isn't long enough for the St. Louis Rams and their defensive coordinator, Ken Flajole.

Davis burned the Rams for a 73-yard touchdown reception on a third-and-1 play in Week 17 last season. The 49ers used their power-oriented 22 personnel grouping on the play, suggesting they might run the ball. Davis put his speed to use, breaking open a 7-6 game in the fourth quarter.

"We thought we had a close game going with them," Flajole told reporters Thursday. "He kind of broke the game open in the fourth quarter against us a little bit. We certainly have to be aware of where he’s at. He’s a fine player, a very athletic tight end."

Davis burned the Seattle Seahawks for a 33-yard touchdown last season on a fourth-and-1 play from the same personnel grouping.

"He's very dangerous," Flajole said. "They create personnel groups for him where he actually becomes just a wide receiver out on the field right now, so we’ve got to be smart about him."

Fellow tight end Delanie Walker emerged as a preferred target for 49ers quarterback Troy Smith in the 49ers' most recent game. An ankle injury sidelined Davis for much of that game. The 49ers expect Davis back against the Rams in Week 10.