Kendall Hunter Injury: Updates on 49ers RB's Achilles Injury

Tim KeeneyContributor INovember 25, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 19:   Kendall Hunter #32 of the San Francisco 49ers breaks the tackle of  Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears for a six yard gain during the game at Candlestick Park on November 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers backup running back Kendall Hunter was forced to leave Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints after suffering an ankle injury. 

UPDATE: Tuesday, November 27 at 1:31 p.m. ET

Kendall Hunter reportedly will miss the season due to an Achilles tear, not an ankle injury, according to Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows.

Source: Kendall Hunter suffered an Achilles tear, not an ankle injury. He is expected to be placed on injured reserve. #49ers

— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) November 27, 2012

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Tuesday, November 27 at 12:35 p.m. ET

Kendall Hunter will reportedly miss the rest of the season due to his ankle injury, according to USA Today Sports' Mike Garafolo.

San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury suffered in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to a person informed of the prognosis for Hunter.

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the 49ers haven't yet announced how long Hunter will be sidelined, did not specify the injury. The Niners said only Hunter had suffered an ankle injury on Sunday.

---End of Update---

For now, he is questionable to return (via the San Francisco 49ers' official Twitter account):

#49ers injury report: WR @kylewilliams_10 is out the game with a knee injury. RB @kendallhunter32 questionable to return with ankle injury.

— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 25, 2012

Hunter went down early in the fourth quarter. He was slow getting up and needed assistance to get off the field, as he couldn't put any pressure on his left leg. The dynamic running back may only have the "questionable" tag, but it would be surprising to see him return with the Niners leading by 10 halfway through the fourth quarter. 

It's not the worst possible thing that could happen to San Francisco, but Hunter was well on his way to establishing himself as as an extremely useful cog in this offense.

Against the Saints on Sunday, he racked up 28 yards on just four carries, including an impressive 21-yard scamper down the left sideline.

On the season, the second-year pro out of Oklahoma State now has 72 rushes for 371 yards and two touchdowns. He has proven to be the perfect complement to Frank Gore, while showcasing enough talent to step up and anchor the offense if anything should happen to the starter. 

With Hunter out, Brandon Jacobs, who saw his first action of the season on Sunday, steps into the backup role. Rookie LaMichael James could also see some playing time, especially if Hunter and kick returner Kyle Williams are both sidelined for an extended period of time.

We'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known regarding this situation.