The San Francisco 49ers pulled off an epic thriller in Week 14, beating the New Orleans Saints 48-46 in a back-and-forth contest at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and improving to 11-2 in the process.

As crazy and exciting as the game was, though, it came with plenty of losses from the Niners' vantage point.

Perhaps the most serious loss was center Weston Richburg, who went down awkwardly in the third quarter after right guard Mike Person landed on the back of Richburg's leg. A cart later had to come out to bring Richburg off the field, and he was replaced by backup lineman Ben Garland for the rest of the contest.

"They don't tell me now, I didn't get to talk to him," head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Richburg after the game. "Obviously, he was carted off. And I just saw him on crutches.

"I don't think it's going to be too good. But we won't know until probably tomorrow."

Richburg dealt with a knee injury and surgery recovery for most of last offseason and into training camp, which gave Garland plenty of time to work with the first-team unit. That's a bonus, yes, but San Francisco's prime free-agent pickup from 2018 has been highly effective for the offensive line this year.

The 49ers also lost EDGE Dee Ford during the game, who re-aggravated his hamstring injury that kept him out of the Niners' Week 13 bout against the Baltimore Ravens. Cornerback K'Waun Williams exited with what appeared to be a concussion, and fellow corner Richard Sherman left late with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Neither Williams nor Sherman returned in the game, which left the 49ers secondary awfully shorthanded -- a fact noted by Saints quarterback Drew Brees late in the fourth quarter in what then seemed like a game-winning drive for New Orleans.

San Francisco answered back, though, and eventually pulled off the crazy win after tight end George Kittle's incredible catch-and-run grab in the waning seconds, followed by kicker Robbie Gould's game-winning field goal as time expired.

Still, the Niners will hope their recent string of injuries won't be too detrimental, as the team now eyes playoff positioning following its win in New Orleans.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.