By Jerrell Richardson
LaMichael James Has Company
Looking over the injury report for the 49ers upcoming game against the Colts is a bit alarming. In the first two weeks, running back LaMichael James was the only 49er on the list both times. Nnamdi Asomugha made a brief appearance, but never missed any game time, and is no longer among the walking wounded. So while it’s not surprising that James remains, what is scary is that he is now joined by eight of his teammates. While no player is unimportant, all of the names on San Francisco’s injury report are big names, and if any are forced to sit out the game, would put the 49ers in a tough spot.
Vernon Davis tweeted that his leg is fine and Eric Reid has several more concussion tests to pass but is expected to play as well. Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Mike Iupati and Colin Kaepernick all have minor complaints, but nothing unusual after a physical match-up.
The area of concern for San Francisco, not only this week, but moving forward, is the defensive front. Even with Aldon Smith playing, Ray McDonald is day-to-day, and veteran Justin Smith’s shoulder is bothering him. They already lost nose tackle Ian Williams and all of a sudden are one more injury away from a very thin point of attack.
San Francisco 49ers
- LaMichael James (Running Back)-Injured knee and has not practiced this week.
- Vernon Davis (Tight End)-Injured hamstring and has not practiced this week.
- Ray McDonald (Defensive Tackle)-Injured ankle and has not practiced this week.
- Justin Smith (Defensive Tackle)-Injured shoulder and has not practiced this week.
- NaVorro Bowman (Linebacker)-Injured wrist and has participated in limited practice this week.
- Eric Reid (Safety)-Concussion symptoms and has participated in limited practice this week.
- Aldon Smith (Linebacker)-Injured back and has participated in limited practice this week.
- Mike Iupati (Guard)-Injured shoulder and has participated in full practice this week.
- Colin Kaepernick (Foot)-Injured foot and has participated in full practice this week.
Safety Help Is A Big Concern for Colts
The Colts are far from healthy entering this game as they have injuries affecting their pass defense. When considering San Francisco has had far more success throwing the ball than running this season, this could mean a long day for the Indianapolis secondary, as there is a good chance that both Antoine Bethea and LaRon Landry miss Sunday’s game. If Indy is without their starting strong and free safeties, they will obviously be at a disadvantage against the pass as well as the run. Landry has an injured ankle that will at least hinder his ability to move around, and Bethea is sporting a protective boot. So even if they suit up, neither will be 100 percent, and the safety position figures to be under fire early and often from the 49er offense.
The rest of the Colt injuries appear to be minor in terms of the affect on the team. Dewayne Allen was lost for the season, but he is an average tight end, and Indianapolis has 3 other tight ends already on the roster, including quarterback Andrew Luck’s college teammate Coby Fleener. The rest of the Colt players will be ready to go by game time.
- Dewayne Allen (Tight End)-Injured hip and is out for the season.
- Antoine Bethea (Safety)-Injured toe and has not practiced this week.
- LaRon Landry (Ankle)-Injured ankle and has not practiced this week.
- Pat Angerer (Linebacker)-Injured knee and has participated in limited practice this week.
- T.Y. Hilton (Wide Receiver)-Injured groin and has participated in limited practice this week.
- David Reed (Wide Receiver)-Injured quadriceps and has participated in limited practice this week.
- Kavell Conner (Linebacker)-Injured ankle and has participated in full practice this week.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey (Wide Receiver)-Injured ribs and has participated in full practice this week.
- Samson Satele (Center)-Injured elbow and has participated in full practice this week.
- Reggie Wayne (Wide Receiver)-Injured shoulder and has participated in full practice this week.
49ers Can’t Afford Another Injury
While San Francisco enjoyed a short injury report the first two weeks, this is football, and playing hurt is part of the game. With the 49ers facing a far less physical team this week, and barring any unforeseen injuries, they should be better off this time next week health wise. They had better hope this is the case, as their recent trend of marquee players injured can’t last. There is still a lot of football left, and last season, injuries to key players, specifically Aldon and Justin Smith, eventually caught up with San Francisco.
For more 49ers news and updates, visit 49ers Central.
Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. Jerrell is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.