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Head injury sidelines Saints RB Thomas vs. 49ers

- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas has left in the first quarter after taking a hit to the head against the San Francisco 49ers in their NFC divisional round playoff.

Thomas caught a pass from Drew Brees on the Saints' opening drive Saturday and absorbed a vicious blow from Donte Whitner just short of the goal line. Whitner jarred the ball loose, and Patrick Willis recovered for the 49ers at their own 2-yard line.

The Saints didn't immediately have an update on Thomas' status.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham also limped off the field after getting tangled up with Whitner earlier in the first quarter. Officials called a 23-yard pass interference penalty on Whitner for the play.

Graham returned for New Orleans' next possession.

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