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Vernon Davis Focused on Big Second-half Finish

Colin Kaepernick targeted Vernon Davis 84 times in the 2013 regular season.

The San Francisco 49ers tight end, who has battled multiple injuries in '14, has played in just five games so far this year. Kaepernick has targeted Davis just 23 times.

Knee, ankle and back issues have forced Davis to miss two full games and half of another.

So with San Francisco taking Week 8 off as its bye, you can be assured that there was no player more thrilled with the timing than the franchise's most prolific tight end.

"I think the bye week was a great opportunity for me to try and work on a couple of things and get healthy," Davis told reporters on Thursday. "It was pretty good for me overall."

Davis enters Sunday's rematch with the St. Louis Rams having totaled 14 catches for 142 yards with two touchdowns, both of which came in the 49ers season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 7.

The 49ers tight end hasn't reached his personal goals for the season, so far, but his team aspirations are still in reach.

"It's always frustrating," Davis said of the high expectations he places on his own performance. "But, the thing I can take from it is that there's always trials and adversity you're going to face and you can grow from it if you approach it the right way."

Davis said his speed has returned this week at practice. Greg Roman also has witnessed a determined pass-catcher.

"He's got a very focused glare when it comes to what he wants to accomplish from here on out," the team's offensive coordinator said.

Davis admitted that his early-season injuries detracted from his focus on the field.

"I think in the last couple of games," the tight end said, "I've been thinking so much and worrying about the injury, cloudy mind, and it's just tough being out there (playing hurt). I felt like I was a warrior going out there banged up."

Injury concerns won't be the case when the Rams come to town. Perhaps his biggest challenge will be brushing up on St. Louis' recently acquired safety, Mark Barron, a player whom Davis beat last season for a 52-yard touchdown catch as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to Davis, tight ends coach Eric Mangini will share a breakdown of Barron's skillset to the rest of the tight end room. It's not known if Barron will make his Rams debut this Sunday.

Even so, St. Louis has the full attention of Davis and the rest of his teammates.

"It's the NFL," Davis said. "You can't go to sleep on anybody. "


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