In case you missed last night's game, the primary storyline to come out of it was the injury bug. The 49ers saw their two running back additions, Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James, leave the game with leg injuries. Both looked painful, but subsequent reports seem to indicate neither injury is overly damaging for the long term. At the same time, there will be additional examinations today that will provide some clarification.
In the first quarter, Brandon Jacobs took a hit in the left knee/thigh region and looked to be in a lot of pain. He was helped off the field by Coach Harbaugh and a trainer and then had to take a cart to the locker room. Reports indicate an x-ray came up negative, but that he would undergo an MRI later today. Coach Harbaugh told the media the injury was not of the season-ending variety, but that Jacobs would miss some time.
In the fourth quarter, LaMichael James went down with what is now being described as a sprained or rolled ankle. James was providing pass protection and it appeared that Derek Hall somehow came down on the left ankle. I checked back on NFL Preseason Live and it was not a clear view, but that it what sounds like at this point. After the game, James tweeted out that he thought he could be back at practice on Monday. While it is nice to hear the optimism, I suspect he'll sit out some practice this week.
What does this mean for the near future? I think we'll see the 49ers sign a running back, although I don't think it will be anything close to a splashy move. If the team is comfortable with the eventual returns of James and Jacobs, they will be looking for a camp body type. James seems to think he can be back to practice quickly, but we'll have to wait and see on that. Jacobs won't be playing next weekend against the Broncos, but it remains to be seen whether James will suit up. My initial guess is no, but that obviously could change rapidly depending on his recovery.
If James and Jacobs do not play next weekend, that leaves the 49ers potentially active running back corps as Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright. You can get through a game with that group, but I would think the team would like a little more depth for late in the game. If that is the case, there are several options of players to cut to create room on the roster in the short term.
For now, I will keep an eye out for updates on this, and feel free to post links to any updates in the meantime. Hopefully the 49ers have dodged a couple more bullets (I smell a new Harbaugh catchphrase!).