Heitmann reportedly breaks left fibula; potentially out 6-8 weeks

The injury report may have just taken a bit hit. My web source is Barrows, but all the beat writers are discussing it. According to everybody, Eric Heitmann has reportedly broken the fibula in his left leg. The fibula is the smaller of the two bones and apparently means he's likely to miss 6-8 weeks. That puts him back somewhere between week 2 against the Saints and week 4 against the Falcons, assuming no complications.

Obviously this is a sizable blow to the offensive line. Heitmann has been an anchor for the line for some time now, and I believe he's one of the more underrated centers in the NFL. His absence also means we have a new position battle that takes on added importance this Sunday. David Baas and Tony Wragge have both been getting snaps at center behind Heitmann, and now both will get snaps to replace him for the short term. We'll want to keep a very close eye on the offensive line's play this Sunday. One would imagine this loss probably locks Mike Iupati into the starting left guard position. Given Baas' work at center, his versatility across the line will be necessary as the team deals with these injuries.

The 49ers haven't released an official report at this point. As we wait for more information, I've posted Coach Singletary's morning post-practice media session transcript after the jump.

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Practice - August 9, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Opening Statement:

"Let's start with talking about the injuries. [T Joe] Staley had a neck spasm, [C Eric] Heitmann has a left leg injury right now, we have to get it evaluated. [LB Martail] Burnett has a knee sprain, and we'll get that evaluated as well. In terms of the center situation, depending on Heitmann's time out, however that works, we have [G Tony] Wragge and [T David] Baas. Wragge has been working there for an extended amount of time and we'll just see how that goes. First and foremost we'll see where we are with Heitmann and how long and to what degree the injury is. Other than that, obviously [C] Cody Wallace, we have to get him back in the mix as well. Other than that, when I looked at practice today, I've been anticipating this day. It was that wall day. Its hump day, and you have to work your way through that wall, and we did not do a very good job of handling it today. My guys tried and I guess looking back on it, it's one of those things that it's more of a blessing than a curse because our guys see it. They see the amount of work that we have to do. They see that when I talk about mental toughness, that's the thing that on days like today, great teams work their way through them. And right now, we have obviously some work to do to get there. But our guys are working at it, trying, but it's just not there yet. So we'll keep working."

On how many sessions were cut from the end of practice:

"Really, just one. One and a half."

On LB Ahmad Brooks and whether there is a sense of how long he will be out:

"No, we're just going to continue to evaluate it. Right now, we are looking at a couple weeks and once we get there we will see from there."

On whether there is a sense of if his injury is on the minimal side of things:

"That's why we're talking about two weeks, and then evaluating it from there."

On whether there is an official depth chart change at right tackle and left guard:

"Well right now, I've talked with [Offensive Coordinator] Jimmy Raye, talked with [Offensive Line Coach] Mike Solari and made the decision to go ahead. We feel that we've seen enough and those guys have shown us that - it's kind of like a two part thing. First of all, they've showed us that they have the ability to step in and be able to do it. The second thing is, we realize that if that is the case, we have to give them the reps that they need to adjust and be ready. We have to give them all the reps that we can possibly give them in order to give them time." 

On whether this is a permanent move:

"As of right now. Nothing is permanent, but as of right now, they are the starters."

On T Anthony Davis:

"I think there is a toughness there, I think he has the tools and he continues to work his tail off in practice, so there's a willingness there. His ability to continue to meet with the coaches and he wants it. This is something that he really wants to be good at. And we want to give him every opportunity in order to be fair to him, give him every opportunity to do so."

On whether G David Baas has to play both guard and center and be effective to solidify his backup role:

"Yes, yes." 

On whether there is a pecking order between Baas and Wragge:

"I just think that it's one of those things that you have to evaluate. Obviously Baas was out a while and Wragge was playing, so we just have to give Baas a chance as well to really see what he can do at that position."

On his thought process with releasing CB/KR LeRoy Vann:

"We made the determination that as a defensive staff that it was the best thing to do, that he wasn't going to get the amount of reps. We'd felt that we'd seen enough and in all fairness to him, if we were as sure as we felt, then we needed to make a move and allow him the opportunity to try to catch on with something else. I didn't want to have him get caught in a numbers game."

On whether T Adam Snyder will be positioned as a guard or tackle:

"Snyder has the flexibility. It's a good situation for us to be in and a good situation for him to be able to do it. He's just going to continue to work where he is needed."

On whether Vann was released based on falling behind on punt returns or from defensive standpoint:

"I think it was both."

On whether he would like to see WR Kyle Williams take over punt returns and WR Ted Ginn Jr. focus on receiving and kick returns:

"I think in an ideal situation, you would like to have that, but I think when it comes down to it, you want to win football games. If Ginn can do both, he might be doing it."

On balancing contact and avoiding injuries:

"You don't. You just try and go with your gut, you try and go with the trainers, you continue to talk with your doctors, your strength and conditioning coach, and today we had decided to cut back a bit. Things happen, this is football. You can't prepare for some of the things, but I think as the coach, the best you can do is get all of the information that you can get and make a decision based on that."

On injuries at outside linebacker and if he will have to make a move:

We might. We just have to look at it and see. We'll get together and make a decision on that."

On WR Josh Morgan getting dinged at the end of practice:

"Right now, I think toward the end there he said he was fine, and it sounded like everything was fine. But he took a little bang there from 38 [S Dashon Goldson]."

On the final play of practice and whether:

"You try - I called the guys up and I asked them, ‘Guys, I really appreciate your effort. It's obvious that you're tired, we tried. Why don't we think about cutting it now and just coming back out here this afternoon and going from there.' And they said, ‘No, we're going to finish it, we're going to finish it.' So I gave them the opportunity to do that and it just wasn't - I don't want us to come out and just kind of drag through it. That tempo and everything else, that's not who we are and so I didn't want to do that."

On who said they wanted to finish:

"All of them. All of them."

On why he thinks they can be more fresh in the afternoon:

"I don't know that, but we'll find out."

On whether he sees signs that DT Kentwan Balmer is the first round draft pick they made him:

"That's something that we have to continue to evaluate and continue to look at. We'll see. Whenever a guy is coming back from an injury it takes him a little while to adjust and get the strength back and have the trust in it and everything else. So we'll see as time goes on."

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