49ers hope for Iupati’s return
San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Mike Iupati sustained a sprained ligament in his left knee Sunday at New Orleans and it isn’t considered to be season-ending, a person with direct knowledge of the injury said Wednesday.
An MRI this week revealed the sprained medial collateral ligament, and Iupati isn’t expected to need surgery, the person said, requesting anonymity because the 49ers didn’t reveal specifics on what happened to Iupati.
The 26-year-old Iupati, a staple in San Francisco’s veteran, much-improved O-line, has started every game since the 49ers selected him 17th in the 2010 NFL draft out of Idaho. That run would end if he isn’t able to play Monday night at Washington.
Brooks fined for Brees hit
San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been fined $15,570 for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday.
That is the standard amount for such hits to the head and neck area.
Brooks leveled Drew Brees, forcing a lost fumble. But the penalty kept the ball in the Saints’ possession, and they soon kicked two field goals to win 23-20.
Brooks vehemently argued against the penalty, saying he didn’t use his hands or helmet and called it a “bear hug.” Brees labeled the hit a clothesline tackle.
Dierdorf out after 43 years
Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf is retiring from broadcasting after 43 straight years with the NFL.
CBS announced he will leave the booth after this season. The 64-year-old Dierdorf has called games for three decades, the longest current tenure by a TV analyst.
He played offensive line for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1971-83, earning All-Pro honors six times. Dierdorf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 2008, he was recognized with the Hall’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Frank Gifford, John Madden and Len Dawson are the only others to receive both honors.
Union to investigate Miami
The NFLPA will conduct its own investigation into the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal, a person familiar with the situation said.
Richard Smith, outside counsel for the union in the New Orleans Saints bounty case, will investigate tackle Jonathan Martin’s allegations that he was harassed by teammates, including guard Richie Incognito, who has been suspended.
Around the league
Oakland coach Dennis Allen announced QB Matt McGloin will start Sunday against Tennessee. … The Raiders placed first-round pick D.J. Hayden on season- ending injured reserve with an injured groin. … Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier announced QB Christian Ponder will be the starter at Green Bay Sunday. … Indianapolis signed RB Chris Rainey to the active roster. … The New York Jets have signed free agent LB Jermaine Cunningham. … Baltimore TE Dennis Pitta has returned to the practice field after being sidelined since July following hip surgery. Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip on July 27 during training camp. … Carolina coach Ron Rivera says an MRI on DE Charles Johnson’s sprained right knee revealed no torn ligaments. Rivera isn’t sure if Johnson will play Sunday at Miami. He will be reevaluated Friday to determine how he’s reacting to treatment. … Washington WR Leonard Hankerson is done for the season with a left knee injury. Coach Mike Shanahan said Hankerson will have surgery on a damaged lateral collateral ligament and will likely require “a few months” of recovery. Hankerson was hurt in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia.