SAN FRANCISCO – Joe Staley walked off the field Sunday with the help of crutches. It turns out his injury is as bad as it looked.
Staley, the San Francisco 49ers’ starting left tackle, sustained a broken left leg in the team’s 23-20 overtime win over the St. Louis Rams. Although the team offered no prognosis, center Eric Heitmann suffered the same injury in training camp and was declared out from six to eight weeks.
That’s not all. Offensive lineman Adam Snyder, who saw considerable playing time at right guard, has a shoulder injury, cornerback Will James suffered a concussion and kicker Joe Nedney reported pain in his right knee on the opening kickoff but still booted the game-winning field goal.
“I was getting enough whip through the leg that it wasn’t affecting distance a whole lot,” Nedney said afterward. “It was just a matter of blocking out the pain in the knee and going through my technique. I think I was a little surprised as well as the coaching staff because everyone was like, ‘I thought you hurt your knee.’”
Snyder, a backup, was in the game because starter Chilo Rachal missed practice Friday for personal reasons and was apparently behind on some changes in the offensive scheme, coach Mike Singletary said.
“I thought it was fair to our offense, our coordinator and our quarterback to start Snyder,” Singletary said. “The little changes that we made here and there that Chilo was not totally in tune with.”
CHANGE AT SAFETY?: Reggie Smith was supposed to help give starting safety Taylor Mays a breather on some downs, but he wound up playing most of the game in the 49ers secondary.
“I’m not really sure in terms of how much more (playing time) Reggie Smith got,” Singletary said. “I don’t know if it was a particular package that we were running that Reggie was in and Taylor was not, so I don’t really know what the breakdown is. I’ll have to look at that.”
SPREADING THE BALL: Troy Smith completed 17 of 28 passes for 356 yards, an average of 21 yards per completion. Vernon Davis had a team-high six catches, but Smith threw the ball to eight different receivers.
“I love it,” said running back Frank Gore. “The other team’s got to respect that they can’t come in the box. I know we’ve got great receivers, and our receivers are happy when they get the opportunity to make plays down the field. It’s nice to be dangerous, really dangerous.”