In yesterday's 20-10 defeat, the Cleveland Browns lost running back Montario Hardesty to a calf strain early in the first quarter. Earlier today it was revealed that Hardesty could miss some time with a partial tear of his calf muscle.
For those not keeping track, Hardesty is now the fourth running back to suffer some kind of injury against the 49ers defense. He joins Felix Jones, LeGarrette Blount and Jahvid Best as running backs who have suffered some kind of injury during their matchup with the 49ers. Jones bounced back to play the next week, but the other backs have all missed extended time with injury.
I am not hear to glorify the 49ers causing moderately serious injuries to opposing running backs. However, it does raise some interesting questions about the oft-mentioned physicality of the 49ers. Aside from their victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and maybe even the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers do in fact seem to get involved in a lot of "bar fight"-style games.
Some folks have raised questions about whether this physicality could wear down the 49ers in November and December. At times I have wondered this myself, but I also consider the ability of the defense to get off the field fairly quickly in many instances. They give up their share of long time-consuming drives, but they also seem to do a good job of getting off the field fairly quickly. Is there concern about the 49ers wearing down a bit late in the season due to their physicality?