The 49ers defense and quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the Niners to a 31-21 win over Drew Brees and the Saints in a statement road win in just the second start of Kaepernicks young career. Alex Smith was cleared to play Saturday but dressed as the teams #2 QB and watched the second year pro out of Nevada put together another impressive performance. Not surprisingly head coach Jim Harbaugh would not commit to either signal caller as his starter and said he would look at it going forward.
As exciting as the win was watching not one but two interceptions returned for touchdowns by the 49er defense and as Kaepernick showed pretty good command of the huddle in the hostile environment the 49ers have to be concerned by the amount of injuries the team suffered in the win.
Running back Kendall Hunter and wide receiver Kyle Williams sustained injuries on the same play late in the third quarter. Williams suffered what looked like a nasty knee injury and Hunter has an ankle sprain and both were carted off the sidelines and are expected to have MRI examinations on Monday. Williams’ injury could be very serious as he was immediately ruled out of the game and could be lost for the season if he has torn anything in his knee. Hunter was seen on crutches and wearing an orthopedic boot though his injury is not one that is looked at as a potential season ending injury at this point but he could miss significant time.
Tight end Delaine Walker was also injured bruising his hip in the game and it was revealed that receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn Jr who muffed a punt in the first half is dealing with a hand injury and offensive tackle Anthony Davis has a broken finger. It appears that Ginn played through his injury and the injuries to Walker and Davis at least at this time do not appear to be serious enough that they would miss any game action.
The 49ers are deep at RB and WR with veteran back Brandon Jacobs receiving his first on field action of the season against the Saints and the teams first and second round draft choices still waiting on their first action of the season. If in fact Hunter and Williams do miss time the likelihood that AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James will see the field this season are good. Hunter is having an excellent season as Frank Gores primary backup averaging over five yards per carry but the tremendous depth the team possesses at the position put them in great position to get over the injury. At the receiver position the team can easily handle the injury to Williams by giving more playing time to veteran Randy Moss and perhaps activating Jenkins on game days. The real concern would be the return spot, if Ginn cannot go next week with Williams already out the team would be down to cornerback Parrish Cox and the rookie James as potential replacements.