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.
The 49ers on Wednesday were assigned outside linebacker Cassius Marsh off waivers from the New England Patriots.
The Patriots waived Marsh on Tuesday after acquiring him in September from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks.
Marsh (6 foot 4, 245 pounds) appeared in 46 games in his four NFL seasons. Three of his four career sacks came in 2016 while with the Seahawks. He was Seattle's fourth-round pick in 2014.
Marsh is the second defensive player the 49ers have claimed off waivers this week. The club acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day on Monday. The 49ers released defensive linemen Tony McDaniel and Datone Jones within the past week.
The 49ers are at their roster maximum of 53 players. The club will have to clear a roster spot if Tank Carradine, as expected, is activated off injured reserve in order to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.
SANTA CLARA – Quarterback C.J. Beathard is expected to make his fifth consecutive start for the 49ers on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will be prepared to face Jimmy Garoppolo, too.
“It really isn’t a factor,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. “We’re just preparing for the 49ers. They got a style of offense. They got really good players who do what they do. And whoever’s triggering it from the quarterback spot, we’re going to go play football.
“We’ve seen Jimmy play. We’ve seen how he’s mobile and the kind of athlete and competitor he is. But other than that, we just go play football. We can’t do anything about that.”
Beathard remained on the sideline when the clubs met Sept. 17 in Seattle. The Seahawks have defeated the 49ers seven consecutive times, including a 12-9 victory in Week 2 this season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the 49ers’ first six games of the season and rushed for just 7 yards during that time. Beathard has 115 yards rushing on 20 attempts in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“He’s been mobile. He’s got a rushing average, you know,” Carroll said of Beathard. “He’s averaging 5-yards a carry and stuff. They’re incorporating him in the run game some that we have to be concerned about. That’s different than other quarterbacks at times. I’d think Jimmy can do the same stuff.
“He (Beathard) is getting more settled. You can see the offense growing. You can see Kyle able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’re just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing."