SANTA CLARA -- Hard-throwing quarterback Colin Kaepernick did something that's never before happened to wide receiver Randy Moss.
In his first NFL start, Kaepernick delivered a pass that popped one of Moss' fingers out of place.
"Man, he dislocated my finger," Moss said Wednesday after the 49ers' first practice of the week to prepare for the New England Patriots on Sunday night in Foxboro, Mass.
"Really, the play was designed for the ball to be thrown in the first hole," Moss said of the pass that he could only deflect in the 49ers' game Nov. 19 against the Chicago Bears.
"And I think I got to the second hole -- or we call them windows as a wide receiver -- and when he found me in the second hole it was kind of too late to throw it, but he threw it anyway. So he had to put one them Randy Johnson fastballs on me. When it hit my finger, I felt my finger pop -- dislocated it. So I had to come back to the sideline and the doctor had to pop it back in."
Moss, a 14-year veteran, said it was the first time he has ever experienced a dislocated finger attempting to catch a pass.
"I try to take pride in taking care of my body and finessing the balls as they come to me," Moss said. "But Kap throws hard. He's very strong and he works out every day. And I didn't really say anything to him other than, 'Keep doing what he's doing.' My finger will heal up.
"It hurt. It hurt. It really did. I tried not to show any tears. I don't know if they caught me crying or not. But it did hurt, but like I said, it's not the time of the year to be crying because it's late in the season. Everybody's hurting. Everybody's ailing. Everybody's feeling a little bit of pain. Some go home and some keep moving. And we want to be the team that keeps moving."
Moss said he has been impressed with how the 49ers have continued to move forward with Kaepernick as a leader at quarterback. And he likes that Kaepernick never seemed content to serve as Alex Smith's backup.
"I think that's most important because, no disrespect to Alex, but I think most backup quarterbacks, young as he is, are waiting in the shadows, like Aaron Rodgers was with Brett Favre," Moss said. "And I'm not comparing Alex and Brett or Aaron Rodgers and Kap. But I think most second-string quarterbacks are just waiting in the shadows and waiting to get their shot.
"I think that Kap's been able to come in and lead us as a whole unit. Any time a guy can come in and lead like that, and I don't mean verbally, I mean leading by example, it's what we as football players look for in a player, especially a quarterback. So I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field."