SANTA CLARA –- It was going to be a short night of work for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who did not practice much during the week due to a knee injury.
But injuries elsewhere to the 49ers’ wideouts forced Crabtree to return late in the 49ers’ 38-35 overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers. Crabtree caught a 5-yard pass in overtime to extend his streak of at least one reception in all 78 NFL games in which he has appeared. Crabtree saw action on just 15 of the 49ers' 72 offensive snaps.
“Yeah, he didn’t practice a lot all week,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “(He) tried to go on it and wasn’t playing early in the game and then Brandon Lloyd went down and so did Bruce Ellington, so he came back in the game.”
Ellington, who accounted for a touchdown receiving and another rushing, sustained a hamstring injury and left the game in the fourth quarter. Lloyd also was not available due to a groin strain. Their availability for the season finale next week against the Arizona Cardinals is in question.
The 49ers were already without the services of Stevie Johnson, the 49ers’ No. 3 receiver, missed his second game due to a knee injury.
But the most troubling injury occurred in the first half when safety Eric Reid exited the game with a concussion. It was his third diagnosed concussion since he entered the NFL last season as a first-round draft pick. Reid has not missed a game in his NFL career.
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith and cornerback Leon McFadden were also examined for head injuries in the second half of Saturday’s game. Smith cleared the test and returned to the game. McFadden's condition was not immediately known.
Offensive linemen Mike Iupati, Marcus Martin and Alex Boone went down with injuries in the second half. Martin missed one play before returning to the field. Iupati and Boone were slow to get up on a play that resulted in Colin Kaepernick’s fumble, which San Diego recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Both Iupati and Boone returned to action at the start of the next series.
Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch left the game with an apparent leg injury in the third quarter. He returned, but appeared hobbled. Corey Lemonier saw action, along with Dan Skuta, late in the game with Lynch and Aldon Smith sidelined.
Cornerback Perrish Cox also left the game for a period of time in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed apparent injury. He returned to action.
Safety Bubba Ventrone sustained a groin strain in the second half and did not return.
The 49ers placed rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland on season-ending injured reserve with an ankle injury before the game. Four other players were declared inactive due to injuries: Stevie Johnson (knee), cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), running back Carlos Hyde (ankle) and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (dislocated thumb).
Borland became the 16th player the 49ers have placed on season-ending IR this season.
LB Chris Borland (ankle)
LB Patrick Willis (toe)
LB NaVorro Bowman (knee)
NT Glenn Dorsey (biceps)
NT Ian Williams (leg)
DB Jimmie Ward (foot)
C Daniel Kilgore (leg)
TE Vance McDonald (back)
RB Kendall Hunter (knee)
TE Derek Carrier (foot)
CB Chris Cook (groin)
WR Kassim Osgood (hand)
TE Garrett Celek (ankle)
WR Chuck Jacobs (knee)
CB Kenneth Acker (foot)
G Fouimalo Fonoti (knee)