Harbaugh: Jacobs, James avoid long-term injuries

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Harbaugh: Jacobs, James avoid long-term injuries

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HOUSTON -- Coach Jim Harbaugh found himself on the 49ers' post-game injury report with a pounding headache.The 49ers withstood a couple scary moments Saturday night when running backs Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James were taken to the X-ray room at Reliant Stadium on carts. But Harbaugh reported that neither sustained a season-ending injury.Harbaugh's headache was a result of his yelling constantly at the replacement refs -- something he said he was prohibited from talking about, by the way.
But Harbaugh was happy to disclose Jacobs' injury is not as bad as initially feared after Houston Texans' cornerback Kareem Jackson hit Jacobs squarely on the knee with his helmet while his left foot was planted in the ground."He's going to miss a little time," Harbaugh said of Jacobs' injury, following the 49ers' 20-9 loss to the Texans at Reliant Stadium."I don't think it's anything . . . the ACL is good. The patella is good. It'll be some time, but we'll see. It's not the you-don't-come-back-from variety."Jacobs, who is being envisioned as the 49ers' short-yardage back, was injured at the end of an 8-yard run. It was his only offensive snap of the game.James, a second-round draft pick from Oregon, sustained his left ankle injury late in the game. X-rays were negative, Harbaugh indicated."Things look good, X-ray-wise, and it's calming down for him," Harbaugh said."It just twisted," James said. "I was actually blocking somebody and somebody hit me and I was planted, and my leg got caught. I went one way and the leg stayed put."James said he would be at practice on Monday, though he was advised that the 49ers' training staff might have a say in the matter."Coach Harbaugh always says we're building a callous, and that's what I'm going to do," he said. "I ain't going to miss any practice. I owe it to my teammates and myself to practice hard each and every day. I'm not going to let an injury . . . if I can't walk, that's a different story. But if I can walk, I can practice. That's how I feel."Inside the 49ers' locker room there was a sense of relief that neither Jacobs nor James would be out for an extended chunk of the season from the injuries they sustained Saturday."I haven't talked to those guys, but it's something good, obviously," left tackle Joe Staley said. "Those are two guys who are going to be key for our team this season. So we don't want to see them going down with anything serious."Said quarterback Alex Smith, "It's tough, no matter what. You hate seeing it in the preseason. Guys going out there trying to get work in to make the team. You want everybody both sides to come out healthy. It's tough to see guys get injured and beat up this early. Luckily, it looks like good news."

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

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SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.