On the first drive of the game in Candlestick Park, New Orleans Saints starting tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Pierre Thomas were sent to the locker room after taking big hits. Both hits were made by San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner.
Graham went down first as Whitner was in coverage and knocked the ball loose from Graham's hands. Graham landed awkwardly and limped off the field. Whitner was called for pass interference on the play.
Graham was sent to the locker room shortly after.
The Saints continued to drive down the field. On a third-and-six play from the 49ers' seven-yard line, Drew Brees threw a short pass to Thomas who turned up field and was immediately met by Whitner who dealt out a vicious hit which forced Thomas to fumble.
The 49ers were able to recover the fumble at the two-yard line and Thomas was sent to the locker room after Graham. Both players' statuses are unknown but Graham did return to the field on the Saints' next drive.