49ers

George Kittle returns to 49ers-Cardinals game after hurting left leg

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George Kittle returns to 49ers-Cardinals game after hurting left leg

The 49ers and their fans breathed a huge sigh of relief on Thursday night.

After giving up a touchdown to the Cardinals on the opening drive, All-Pro tight end George Kittle left the game with an apparent left knee injury on the 49ers' first play from scrimmage, but returned on the 49ers' second drive.

Kittle appeared to take a helmet to his left knee and was in a lot of pain initially. He was able to walk off on his own power, but had a noticeable limp. After going into the blue medical tent, Kittle came out and was seen jogging on the sideline.

After the 49ers forced the Cardinals to punt on their second drive, Kittle re-entered the game with the offense.

Kittle's knee clearly is fine, as he broke multiple tackles on a 30-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter. 

The undefeated 49ers cannot afford to lose Kittle, so it's a good sign that he was able to come back just a few minutes later and look as good as ever on that touchdown.

49ers' Richard Sherman likely out a couple weeks with hamstring injury

49ers' Richard Sherman likely out a couple weeks with hamstring injury

Richard Sherman likely will miss multiple weeks after straining his hamstring, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Monday in Santa Clara.

A Monday MRI revealed Sherman picked up a Grade 2 hamstring strain in the 49ers' 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported before Shanahan's press conference, citing a source. 

Sherman sprained his knee in the 49ers' Week 13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but still suited up against the Saints. He has played in every game during his second season with the 49ers, intercepting three passes and posting the fourth-highest Pro Football Focus grade of his career. 

[RELATED: What Jimmy G told Kittle before biggest play of 49ers' season]

The 11-2 49ers are in the driver's seat for the NFC's top seed, with home games against the Falcons (4-9) and Los Angeles Rams (8-5) before traveling to Seattle for a potential winner-take-all game for the NFC West against the Seahawks in Week 17.

San Francisco can surely survive one week without Sherman, but games against the reigning NFC champions and his former team could prove difficult in his absence. 

49ers snap count: Raheem Mostert taking over as top running back

49ers snap count: Raheem Mostert taking over as top running back

Raheem Mostert has never started a game in his NFL career, but he has become the 49ers’ leading rusher and most-used running back.

Mostert played 40 of the 49ers’ 67 offensive snaps on Sunday and has become a valuable member of the team’s offense after earning his way onto the roster primarily because of his skills as a special-teams performer.

Mostert gained 69 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts in the 49ers’ exhilarating 48-46 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He also caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Mostert has taken over as the team’s rushing lead with 608 yards and four touchdowns on 102 rushing attempts, good for a 6.0 average.

Matt Breida returned to action Sunday after missing three games with an ankle sprain. Breida played 12 snaps and gained 54 yards on six rushing attempts.

Tevin Coleman started his eighth game of the season, but was on the field for just 11 snaps. He gained 6 yards on three carries. The 49ers’ fourth running back, Jeff Wilson, was inactive for the game.

[RELATED: Report: 49ers' Sherman strained hamstring, could miss weeks]

Here is a look at how much everyone on the 49ers played Sunday on offense, defense and special teams:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 67
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 67
Running back – Raheem Mostert 40, Kyle Juszczyk 29, Matt Breida 12, Tevin Coleman 11
Wide receiver – Emmanuel Sanders 63, Deebo Samuel 53, Kendrick Bourne 38, Richie James 11
Tight end – George Kittle 62, Ross Dwelley 9, Garrett Celek 7
Offensive line – Laken Tomlinson 67, Mike Person 67, Mike McGlinchey 67, Joe Staley 67, Ben Garland 36, Weston Richburg 31
Did not play – QB Nick Mullens

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 72
Defensive line – Nick Bosa 68, DeForest Buckner 64, Arik Armstead 63, D.J. Jones 33, Solomon Thomas 33, Sheldon Day 14, Jeremiah Valoaga 9, Dee Ford 4
Linebacker – Fred Warner 72, Dre Greenlaw 71, Azeez Al-Shaair 9, Mark Nzeocha 1
Defensive back – Jimmie Ward 72, Marcell Harris 72, Ahkello Witherspoon 69, Richard Sherman 63, K’Waun Williams 53, Emmanuel Moseley 15, D.J. Reed 6, Tarvarius Moore 1

Special teams

Moore 29, Elijah Lee 28, Nzeocha 28, Moseley 26, Al-Shaair 24, Mitch Wishnowsky 20, James 19, Antone Exum 18, Mostert 16, Armstead 15, Buckner 15, Ward 15, Dwelley 14, Celek 13, Kyle Nelson 12, Jones 12, Bourne 10, Harris 9, Reed 9, Robbie Gould 8, Justin Skule 8, McGlinchey 8, Tomlinson 8, Thomas 7, Person 5, Breida 5, Greenlaw 5, Daniel Brunskill 4, Garland 4, Richburg 4, Juszczyk 4, Warner 1, Bosa 1, Williams 1, Day 1

Not active

QB C.J. Beathard
WR Marquise Goodwin
WR Dante Pettis
DB Jaquiski Tartt
RB Jeff Wilson
DT Jullian Taylor
TE Levine Toilolo