After all, the speedy former first-round draft pick out of Ohio State once tied an NFL record by returning two kickoffs for scores with the Miami Dolphins in a 2009 game against the New York Jets.
Yet 49ers coach Jim Harbaughrevealed to The Sacramento Bee on Monday that Ginn was a last-minute choice to return kickoffs in San Francisco's opener Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Ginn clinched the 49ers' victory by returning a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown after the Seahawks scored a touchdown to pull within two points with under four minutes left. (He later added icing to the cake with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown.)
Rookie Kendall Hunter handled most kick returns in the preseason and Harbaugh said the 49ers decided to go with Ginn over Hunter the day before the game, mostly because of his experience.
"A guy back there has to have a cool head, make good decisions," Harbaugh told The Bee.
"Honestly, we didn't think Teddy Ginn was going to play," Carroll said after the game. "Teddy's got a real style about him. He didn't play much in the preseason and he got running around us."
Harbaugh seemed a little miffed that he didn't see highlights of his team's big win on NFL Network or ESPN on Sunday night.
"I never caught any of the 49ers on any of those, so I just watched the Cowboys game," he told the newspaper. "It just kind of documents what you know. I mean, what the perception is of our team around the league and around the country. Some people can say that's not fair, it ain't right. But let's do something about it. That's our mindset. That's our approach."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.