49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 14, 2010
Staley out with broken leg; Singletary mum on next week's QB

Nearly an hour after the 49ers 23-20 overtime win, left tackle Joe Staley was being fitted for a gray plastic walking boot, the result of a fracture to his left fibula. Staley was injured early in the fourth quarter and was taken into the locker room. According to the 49ers, X-rays taken at the time were negative and Staley went back into the game for the 49ers final drive in regulation. A second set of X-rays taken after the game, according to the team, showed the fracture.

The 49ers gave no prognosis after the game, but it's the same bone that center Eric Heitmann broke in August. Heitmann's prognosis was six to eight weeks. For Staley, it's an unwanted case of déjà vu. He was injured in the ninth game last season - he suffered a sprained knee - and was lost for the year. Barry Sims took over at left tackle in 2009, and it appears as if the 12-year veteran will be tapped again. The team also is likely to activate second-year tackle Alex Boone from this point forth.

Against the Rams, however, Sims was inactive. With another tackle, Adam Snyder, dealing with a shoulder injury, guard Tony Wragge filled in. As Wragge was talking to reporters at his locker room, a steady stream of teammates stopped by to offer congratulations and exchange fist bumps. The reason - Wragge never had played left tackle in a game and had only had a few practice snaps here and there since joining the 49ers in 2005.

Wragge initially was sent into the game at right tackle to replace rookie Anthony Davis, who was nicked and left the field for a play. As Wragge was running toward the sideline following that play, coaches yelled at him to go back out and line up at left tackle because Staley was injured.

"That's my role," Wragge said. "It's to be a multiple-position guy and come in and contribute. I'm always studying my stuff (at guard) but at the same time watching those guys and looking at their techniques and listening to their responsibilities for their plays."

Joe Nedney kicked a 29-yard field goal to win the game in overtime, but afterward he was dealing with a sprained right - plant leg - knee that he injured on the opening kickoff.
Nedney said he was able to play through the pain Sunday but that he didn't know what his status would be next week when the 49ers host Tampa Bay. Nedney's kickoffs mostly were short throughout the afternoon, but he had plenty of distance on all three of his field goals, including one from 47 yards.

"It stayed stable enough for me toi do my job," Nedney said. "You know, I couldn't go crazy on it and I couldn't kick a kickoff full speed, but I did enough to get out there and get the job done, and that's all that matters to me right now." Asked what his contingency plan was if Nedney couldn't continue against the Rams, Mike Singletary said, "You know what, that's not a good question right now. Not a good question."

Safety Taylor Mays started Sunday's game but Reggie Smith platonned with him and ended up playing more snaps. ... Snyder started the game at right guard for Chilo Rachal, who missed Friday's and Saturday's practice for the birth of his son. .... The 49ers had one other injury. Cornerback Will James suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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