The 49ers will be without Joe Staley for next week's game against Seattle, but the outlook could have been a lot worse for the team's Pro Bowl left tackle. According to a source with knowledge of the injury, Staley suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee in the first quarter Sunday.
Staley was replaced by starting guard Alex Boone, a left tackle at Ohio State. Boone played well in relief, holding Rams defensive end Robert Quinn to no sacks. Quinn entered the game with 13 sacks - second in the NFL - and also forced six fumbles.
Staley declined to talk about the injury after the game. He said he will have an MRI on the knee on Monday, which will tell the 49ers the severity and the length of time Staley is likely to miss. Left guard Mike Iupati also suffered a sprained MCL two weeks ago against the Saints and has missed the last two starts. Iupati appears close to returning to the lineup.
Staley had a large brace on his right knee and was moving with a pronounced limp. But he joined his teammates on the sideline in the second half and was walking on his own after the game.
Adam Snyder has been filling in for Iupati while Joe Looney, who made his NFL debut last week against the Redskins, played most of the game at right guard. "I thought Joe Looney did a great job stepping up today - hell of a performance coming off the bench and kicking some a--," Boone said. "Can't be more proud of a guy for that. I know he's going to be ready for (next) week."
- Matt Barrows