The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, and both teams could be without a strong rookie safety. 49ers safety Eric Reid and Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro both suffered concussions in Week 10. Reid suffered his when he attempted to tackle running back Mike Tolbert. Vaccaro suffered his when he took a knee to the helmet in the the third quarter of Sunday Night Football.
Coach Harbaugh did not have an update after the game, and I am not expecting a whole lot of much from him during his normal Monday noon PT press conference. This is Reid's second concussion, which is worrisome. He could very well bounce back fine, but the most important thing is considering his long-term health. I suspect he will miss Sunday's game, but nothing has been confirmed one way or another.
Ian Rapoport is already reporting Vaccaro will not play Sunday against the 49ers. This leaves the Saints in a bit of a bind beyond just the absence of the thus far strong performing rookie. The team did not have Malcolm Jenkins or Roman Harper on Sunday Night Football. Jenkins has now missed two games with a knee injury, while Harper has been absent since Week 2. It didn't cause any problems last night against Tony Romo and company, but it's a concern nonetheless. Maybe the 49ers passing attack can find some ways to attack the injured safety group...oh wait.
But seriously, the replacement safeties will be something to track closely this Sunday. For the 49ers in particular, Craig Dahl does not inspire a ton of confidence facing the red-hot Drew Brees. Dahl actually had a solid performance substituting in for Reid, including a huge tackle of Cam Newton to prevent a first down. But with a week to prepare for Dahl, I have a hunch Brees and company attack him frequently.