HOUSTON -- The status of 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs is in question after a first-quarter knee injury ended his evening after one rushing attempt.The 49ers were lucky quarterback Alex Smith wasn't banged up, too. The offensive line struggled with pass protection Saturday night against the Houston Texans. Smith was sacked twice and hit several other times.Smith completed 5 of 9 passing attempts for 49 yards. The 49ers managed a field goal out of his two drives, which covered 21 snaps.Anthony Dixon, filling the short-yardage role with Jacobs' absence, was stopped on a fourth-and-1 run attempt to end the 49ers' second drive.The extent of Jacobs' injury was not immediately known.
NEWS: Jacobs leaves with knee injury
The 49ers settled for three Akers' field goals, including kicks of 50 and 55 yards, in a 20-9 loss to the Texans at Reliant Stadium.Backup Colin Kaepernick replaced Smith and immediate ran the no-huddle offense. He gained 12 yards on a spread read option. But Kaepernick completed just 4 of 8 attempts for 19 yards.Johnson's night: Josh Johnson was the third quarterback into the game, and he delivered a beautifully thrown 32-yard pass to A.J. Jenkins, who made an over-the-shoulder catch at the right sideline. But Johnson missed an opportunity for a touchdown on the next play when he overthrew a wide-open Jenkins by 5 yards. Johnson finished the night 4 of 6 for 64 yards.On the defensive: The first-team defense kept the Texans out of the end zone, but they were not able to generate much pass rush without outside linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks on the field. Smith (right hip) and Brooks (left knee) did not make the trip.Parys Haralson and Eric Bakhtiari started at outside linebacker. Bakhtiari played almost the entire game.Cornerback Chris Culliver surrendered a 22-yard Matt Schaub pass to Keshawn Martin. The Texans' first-team offense scored a touchdown against the 49ers' second defense just prior to the end of the half.LaMichael's La-Muff: Rookie LaMichael James has been working on punt returns during training camp, but he did not look comfortable angling toward the sideline in the third quarter to track down Donnie Jones' punt. James misjudged it and muffed the punt, but the 49ers retained possession because the ball deflected out of bounds.Late in the game, James suffered an injury to his lower left leg and left the field without placing weight on his left leg. He was carted off the field.