The San Francisco 49ers suffered their biggest injury of training camp and the preseason after Brandon Jacobs left the team’s 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday with a left knee injury. According to a league source, Jacobs’ MRI did not reveal any major knee damage. Although he is expected to miss the rest of the preseason and it is not sure if he will be healthy enough to play in the regular season opener in three weeks.
Jim Harbaugh on Jacobs’ health,
He’s going to miss a little time. The ACL’s good. The patellla’s good. It will be some time, but we’ll see.
The outlook for Jacobs was not positive after seeing him being helped off the field by Jim Harbaugh and a trainer in the first quarter. It was even more discouraging seeing him being carted off from the sidelines. Although he will not likely play the rest of the preseason, it was good to hear he did not suffer a serious knee injury that would have him miss some or all of the regular season.
Jacobs will be used as the short-yardage running back in the 49ers offense this season and he needs to be on the field each game. Otherwise, the 49ers next best option as a short-yardage running back is Anthony Dixon who is struggling to make the team as a fullback. Frank Gore will not be used as much in short-yardage situations compared to previous seasons as the 49ers try preserving him for a full season. Other running backs LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter are not ideal for short-yardage situations because of their short frames. Because of this and Jacobs’ injury, it increases Dixon’s chances of making the team as a running back/fullback because of the limited options.
James was also injured in the lost to the Texans. He actually tweaked his left ankle in the preseason win over the Vikings, but suffered a more serious injury on Saturday. James also was taken off the sidelines on a cart. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter after 49ers tackle Derek Hall fell on him while blocking on a play. As James’ body went in one direction, his ankle stayed planted when Hall fell on him. James’ injury is not considered serious but he may miss a few days of practice.
The 49ers offense cannot afford to lose either Jacobs or James, as both will be a huge part of the offense and success of the team this season. Before Saturday’s game, it looked like the 49ers had too many running backs and not enough roster spots. Now, we can see why the front office decided to bring in as many talented running backs as they could. You never know when an injury will strike nor to whom.