Injury report & analysis: 49ers vs. Chiefs

The 49ers will be without two offensive starters against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are coming off their bye week with only two players listed on their injury report. But one's their starting QB, and the other is a starting lineman who was downgraded on Thursday. Here's an inside look at all injuries on both teams and how they'll affect who will and won't play Sunday, along with player analysis.


OUT: G Larry Allen (knee); TE Vernon Davis (leg)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Frank Gore (ribs); WR Taylor Jacobs (hamstring); RB Maurice Hicks (ankle); TE Delanie Walker (questionable)
PROBABLE: RB Michael Robinson (shoulder)


OUT: QB Trent Green (concussion)

NOTE: Allen, Davis, Green and Turley did not practice with their respective teams on either Wednesday or Thursday.

INJURY ANALYSIS: Gore, Hicks and Robinson each practiced for the second consecutive day on Thursday, though each was paced through the sessions and limited in some drills. It appears Gore - after missing the final 20 minutes of last week's game against the Eagles after being injured late in the third quarter - will be ready to start at tailback. But expect Gore to share at least a few carries this week with both Robinson and Hicks rather than carrying virtually the entire load as he did during San Francisco's first three games before he was injured. The 49ers won't have a problem feeding Gore the football if he shows no effects of his injury, but it appears likely they will go more often to Hicks and Robinson in third-down and short-yardage situations to limit some of the wear and tear on Gore. ... Jacobs, after missing last week's game, also has practiced both days this week and could return against the Chiefs in his capacity on special teams and as a fourth wide receiver. The Niners, however, might be just as inclined to keep him on the shelf for another week, as other players can fill his roles. ... Walker, wearing a special harness, practiced both Wednesday and Thursday without incident. Providing he works through Friday's practice without injury, Walker - who dislocated his right shoulder in San Francisco's Sept. 1 preseason finale - is expected to make his NFL regular-season debut against Kansas City. Though they would like to ease him in slowly, the 49ers could use Walker in a variety of roles both on special teams and on offense, where he can help fill some of the void left by Davis' absence. ... Eric Johnson will take Davis' place as the primary tight end, but Billy Bajema also will work in two-tight end sets with Walker perhaps filling a wild-card role as a motion F-back and receiver out of that position. Given his shoulder injury, it is unlikely the 49ers will use Walker in a standard role at tight end, where a lot of blocking is required. ... Davis' injury will not require surgery or a cast, but the cracked fibula in his right leg will keep him out at least a month. The 49ers' bye week is Oct. 22, so Davis is eyeing a return to action when San Francisco comes back from its bye with an Oct. 29 game at defending NFC North champion Chicago. ... Allen, who sprained the MCL in his left knee on the sixth play of the season opener, is expected to miss one more week with the injury. The original diagnosis was that Allen would miss 2 to 4 weeks with the injury, and the team will wait to see how he responds in his anticipated return to practice next week before deciding whether he will play in the team's Oct. 8 game against the Oakland Raiders. ... Green suffered head trauma in Kansas City's season opener against Cincinnati, and the severe concussion ended his streak of 81 consecutive starts. The Chiefs had hoped Green might be able to return after their bye week against the 49ers, but his condition still is being monitored and he is out indefinitely. He'll be replaced again by backup Damon Huard, who has played well in Green's absence. Huard has completed 29 of 43 passes for 273 yards and one TD with no interceptions, and his 92.5 passer rating ranks ninth among all NFL quarterbacks - one spot ahead of the 49ers' Alex Smith. ... Turley, who has a sore lower back, was listed as probable Wednesday, though he did not practice with the team, and was expected to play against the 49ers. But his condition has not improved and he was downgraded to questionable Thursday after missing practice again. Turley's situation makes a dicey passing situation even scarier for the Chiefs. He's playing underweight to begin with and has a history of back problems. His effectiveness could determine whether the Chiefs remain willing to open up their offense against the 49ers. Fourth-year veteran Jordan Black would take Turley's place if he is unable to play.

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