The wide receiver who dominated NFL defenses for the better part of 13 seasons might be back, but he was an afterthought during the first half of San Francisco's preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings, in which the 49ers won 17-6.
Moss wasn't asked to do much, likely a show of respect by Harbaugh for a time-tested veteran. The 35-year-old receiver made his debut on the 49ers' third play from scrimmage and was asked to block against the Vikings, whom he played for twice, from 1998 to 2004 and again during a failed venture in 2010.
After one quarter, the numbers for Moss were a blank. After two quarters, ditto.
Alex Smith -- looking very Alex Smith-like -- threw for just 16 yards on a 12-play, 84-yard opening drive that chewed up nearly eight minutes. The 49ers quarterback closed the drive with a 4-yard touchdown strike to Brett Swain.
San Francisco put energy into revamping its receiving corps during the offseason, but Harbaugh's boys looked every bit the ground-loving team that bashed its way through defenses in 2011. At halftime, eight different players had rushed the ball for 198 yards (a chunk of that coming on Colin Kaepernick's 78-yard scamper). Meanwhile: only 50 yards through the air.
Those expecting finesse could be disappointed. This team is a bruiser.