Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kendall Hunter Out for Season

Running back Kendall Hunter will miss the rest of the season with a left ankle injury suffered in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to a person informed of the prognosis for Hunter.

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the 49ers haven't yet announced how long Hunter will be sidelined, did not specify the injury. The Niners said only Hunter had suffered an ankle injury on Sunday.

Hunter, a fourth-round pick last year, had 371 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries in San Francisco's first 11 games this season as a backup to starting running back Frank Gore. He's now the second 49ers player lost for the season this week, joining wide receiver/returner Kyle Williams, who tore his ACL.

The loss of Hunter means the Niners will need rookie LaMichael James and veteran Brandon Jacobs to step up. James has yet to dress for a game this season.

Jacobs, who signed with San Francisco after being cut by the Giants, got his first carry of the season on Sunday. It was a rush for 1 yard.

Jacobs has been frustrated with how little he's been used this year after suffering a knee injury in the preseason. He's about to see his workload increase.

A possible replacement for Hunter on the active roster would be rookie running back Jewel Hunter, who is currently on the non-football-injury list and must be activated this week at the end of his three-week window to return.

Hunter and Kyle Williams were hurt on the same play during the second half of Sunday's game. Both had to be helped off the field and were taken by cart to the locker room. They were injured on a running play in which Hunter carried the ball for a 2-yard gain late in the third quarter.

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