Two of the 49ers' top offensive weapons are hurting this week, and one is unlikely to play Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills.
Star receiver Terrell Owens hobbled into 49ers headquarters Monday wearing a protective boot on his right foot. Rookie running back Kevan Barlow slipped in a while later with his left arm in a sling.
Neither is expected to practice until late in the week, and Barlow could miss the nationally-televised game against the Bills. Owens, already bothered by a sore knee and sprained left ankle, hurt his right foot during last week's 40-21 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Near the end of that game, Barlow was pulled down after an 11-yard run and suffered a dislocated left shoulder. He entered the game already hampered by a pulled quadriceps muscle.
"The main concern would be Kevan Barlow," 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said Monday. "That's the guy we may not have available this week." Barlow had a Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam Monday that revealed no other structural damage to his shoulder socket. He'll need some time to rest and rehabilitate, Mariucci said, and is listed as doubtful for Buffalo.
A bit of rest sounded pretty good to Barlow on Monday. "Dislocated shoulder … pulled quad … I've kind of hit the wall," Barlow said. "I need to take one or two steps back. All this stuff is happening now. I'm not used to playing 14 games. I'm used to playing 10 games and a bowl game (in college). And before the bowl game, there'd be a two-month break."
The Niners have experience this season with Barlow's type of injury. Safety Lance Schulters and cornerback Anthony Parker both suffered similar injuries. Schulters was able to return later in the game in which he was injured, but Parker was lost for the season after it was later discovered he had a fracture in his shoulder. He had surgery two weeks ago.
"(Barlow's shoulder) was just dislocated and they popped it back in and away you go," Mariucci said. "There were no surprises with the MRI. So, it's a matter of how much rest and rehab do you give a guy before he's available." Owens won't need as much time as Barlow before he's available. Owens said he expected to be ready to play against the Bills and probably will practice later this week.
An MRI exam Monday on his right foot showed it was sprained with no other damage. But now Owens has injuries on both legs to worry about. "It's just one thing after another," Owens said. "The only thing I had doubt about playing (against the Colts) was because I didn't want to reaggravate it and have it set me back another week. Now this."