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Rashad Jennings expected to return

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings is returning to practice Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

"Hopefully, without a setback, he'll be ready to go," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday morning. "He'll give us a tremendous lift."

Jennings has missed four games due to a sprained knee he suffered in a Week 5 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Giants have lost all four of the games he's missed. They were averaging 121 rushing yards per game with Jennings as their starter but are averaging only 83 rushing yards per game in the four games they've played without him.

Jennings likely will slide right back into his starting role, pushing rookie Andre Williams back into the No. 2 spot.

It's also possible the Giants could get guard Geoff Schwartz back from injury this week, which could also help their sagging run game.

Schwartz has yet to play for the Giants, as he signed in the offseason but went on injured reserve/designated for return just before the season. Coughlin said Schwartz would get a lot more work in practice this week, and that the team would decide based on that whether he will play Sunday.

New York has until Monday to either activate Schwartz or put him on season-ending IR. Based on his progress so far, Schwartz should play in Week 12 even if he doesn't play this weekend.

Running back Peyton Hillis and linebacker Jacquian Williams both were sent home from the Giants' facility Wednesday due to concussion symptoms. The Giants aren't expecting to have either player Sunday at this point. Spencer Paysinger likely would start at weakside linebacker if Williams can't go.

The Giants signed running back Orleans Darkwa from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad and placed running back Michael Cox on season-ending injured reserve with a broken leg.