HERTFORDSHIRE, England — It's been a month since the 49ers' last defeat, a sight that Vernon Davis despised as he sat out with a hamstring injury.
Since that Sept. 22 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, four wins have followed, and although the 49ers' running attack keyed the offense's progress, Davis' role can't be ignored.
Next up is Sunday's date against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. Perhaps channeling his inner-Shakespeare for locals' sake, Davis theatrically explained what's spurred his comeback since the Colts loss.
“Standing there on that sideline, I was just looking at the team and I said to myself, 'Gosh I need to get back out there. I feel like they needed my help, my presence. I can help them.'”
He's thus scored four touchdowns in the past four games, and he's on pace to put up his best numbers since 2009, the only Pro Bowl season of his eight-year career.
The 49ers were counting on such production from Davis to offset the injury-related absences of Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree.
Manningham inspired a team-wide celebration when he made a touchdown catch in Wednesday's practice, but his season debut isn't expected until Nov. 10, as coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed in a Thursday interview with 95.7 The Game.
When Davis pulled his left hamstring late in a Sept. 15 blowout loss at Seattle, the 49ers offense figured to falter, as was the case a week later in the 27-7 loss to the Colts.
It was the first time in 99 games that Davis did not play, including the postseason.
“Vernon's having just a great year,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “Watching him prepare every day, it's great to see.He's a very talented person and we're fortunate to have him.”