New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas was ruled out for the remainder of Saturday's divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers with a head injury after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit on the opening drive.
On third down from the 49ers' 7-yard line, Thomas caught a pass from Drew Brees but was hit hard by San Francisco safety Donte Whitner 1 yard shy of a first down. Thomas fumbled on the play, and the 49ers recovered the ball to keep the Saints from jumping out to an early lead.
Thomas returned to the field after a trip to the locker room just before the start of the 49ers' second possession of the game, capped by tight end Vernon Davis' 49-yard touchdown catch. NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported the running back was seen without his helmet.
Before Thomas went down, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham violently hit the turf at Candlestick Park after going up for a deep ball on third down. Graham drew a pass-interference penalty on the play to give the Saints a first down. Wyche reported that Graham was diagnosed with back spasms, and the tight end returned to the game.
San Francisco receiver and kick-return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. also limped to the locker room just before halftime with an apparent right ankle injury. He missed one series in the third quarter before returning a punt and rejoining the offense, only to be injured again.
Ginn left late in the third quarter with a right knee injury after being jammed at the line of scrimmage. The team said Ginn's return was questionable.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.