Logan Payne has a torn ligament in his knee and is probably done for the season, though they didn’t say which ligament. Mike Holmgren said it was serious. Payne, the poor guy, stood up with reporters after the game to answer questions and he was on the verge of tears. Can’t help but feel badly for him. He said when he caught the ball, just the toe of his shoe touched the turf when the guy’s helmet hit just above his knee. He said he knew immediately that something bad had happened.
Seneca Wallace strained a calf muscle in pregame warmups, after they had turned in their inactive list. Both Holmgren and Matt Hasselebeck said that Seneca figured prominently in the game plan, and Seneca was going to get a lot of time at split end, and so it severely affected their play-calling. No timetable on Seneca’s return yet. Holmgren said they have to go out and sign a couple of receivers tomorrow or Tuesday.
Billy McMullen was not even supposed to get in the game, and ended up, Hasselbeck said, being the primary receiver on many of the plays. McMullen, the intended receiver on Willis’ interception return for a TD, said the cornerback’s helmet hit the ball, which popped it up. He said his fumble was a function of not getting enough reps this week.
Hasselbeck said simply, “I’m surprised. Surprised, stunned and angry.”
Holmgren said the only thing they can do is regroup and try to figure out a way to win. Nobody is going to feel sorry for them, and as pro football players it is their responsibility to fight through whatever comes their way.
Holmgren said they were going to go for the win on their last drive of the regulation, but poor field position — precipitated by Josh Wilson’s decision to bring the ball out of the end zone — prevented them making bold play calls. Holmgren did not want to make a mistake and have the game decided there. He said there already had been some missed assignments and it was too crucial a spot to be daring.
Jordan Babineaux said it was his blown coverage on the blocked punt. He said he took his eye off the man and when he saw him go past it was too late.
Neither Babineaux nor Deon Grant nor Brian Russell really had an answer for what is going on with the defense. Blown coverages was part of it, in particular on that deep pass to Isaac Bruce. But with eight sacks and good pressure, they need to make more plays.
New punter Jon Ryan said he never really felt comfortable back there. He said he didn’t want to make excuses but it may have been a function of being with a new team, new teammates and a new stadium. He said everything was correctable and he is confident his punts will get better.
Courtney Taylor said he is stunned by the number of injuries that are besieging the wide receiver unit. He said when Payne went down, they pulled together and said they still are responsible for making plays. When asked about his day, he said he could have had nine catches for 200 yards and it would not feel good if an L was associated with it.
Eric covered the rest of the locker room and Ryan Divish covered the Niners locker room. Both will blog what they got from there.