SANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Tarell Brown will miss his second start on Sunday, as he slowly recovers from a significant ribs injury to he sustained Nov. 17 against the New Orleans Saints.
[RELATED: 49ers' Crabtree: 'I'm ready to play']
Brown did not sustain fractured ribs, he said, but the injury was “more than bruised ribs.” He said he suffered some internal damage. Brown was able to do some light running Thursday for the first time since the injury.
Brown was injured while making a tackle of Saints running back Pierre Thomas near the goal line. Saints fullback Jed Collins’ knee struck Brown in the ribs. Brown was in extreme pain and has experienced difficulty taking deep breaths. He remained in a New Orleans hospital overnight and flew home the following day.
“It was painful -- the worst flight ever,” Brown said.
Brown went through some light jogging, back-pedaling and caught some passes during pre-practice drills on Thursday. He appeared to be in discomfort while going through the light drills. He is expected to be available to return to action before the end of the regular season.
Although listed as questionable, Brown and guard Mike Iupati will not play Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Defensive lineman Ray McDonald, tight end Garrett Celek and rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton are not expected to be available, either.
49ers status report
LB Ahmad Brooks (stinger), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), TE Garrett Celek (hamstring), G Mike Iupati (knee), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), WR Quinton Patton (foot), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder)
LB Navorro Bowman (knee, shoulder), RB Frank Gore (ankle), WR Mario Manningham (knee), LB Dan Skuta (foot), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Rams status report
G Harvey Dahl (knee), S T.J. McDonald (shin), CB Brandon McGee (foot)
CB Trumaine Johnson (concussion), DE Eugene Sims (foot), RB Zac Stacy (concussion), G Chris Williams (concussion), LB Will Witherspoon (not injury related)