|How will the Saints offense operate without Thomas? (Getty Images)|
Jimmy Graham's one of the most important pieces for the Saints explosive offense but there's a was some concern New Orleans will could lose him but he returned to the game after suffering what appeared to be a neck/head/back injury. The same can't be said for running back Pierre Thomas, who is likely out for the rest of the day in San Francisco.
Graham landed on his neck area during the Saints opening drive after drawing a pass-interference penalty against 49ers safety Donte Whitner in the first quarter in San Francisco. The tight end was slow to get up and helped off the field by trainers and then eventually went into the locker room.
Thomas, who was critical to the 49ers win over the Lions last week, also ran into Whitner, getting absolutely punished by the safety on 3rd and 6 inside the 49ers red zone. Thomas fumbled the ball and the 49ers recovered, which was the Saints first red-zone turnover of the season.
In worse news, Thomas, who certainly appeared to be a candidate for a concussion watch, had his helmet taken away by trainers after returning to the sideline. He was then taken to the locker room.
Thomas was on the sideline of the field, congratulating his teammates and it appears his day will be over.
There was some question about whether or not the hit on Thomas was a helmet-to-helmet hit. However, Thomas lowered his head before Whitner hit him, and he was not considered "defenseless" because he had established himself as a runner before getting tagged.
If Thomas is indeed out, the Saints will be down to just Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory as running backs. Although if the game continues to go the way the first quarter did, it's unlikely they'll need to worry about running the ball much the rest of the way.
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