Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter
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SAN FRANCISCO - Saints running back Pierre Thomas won't return after sustaining a head injury on the first drive of the game when he was hit hard by San Francisco defensive back Donte Whitner.

Thomas fumbled on the play inside the 5-yard line and the 49ers recovered. There was 8:44 left on the clock in the first quarter.

Thomas went limp almost immediately and when he got up to run to the sideline, he didn't take a straight line.

He initially went to the bench, where trainers took away his helmet before escorting him to the locker room.

Thomas briefly returned to the sideline, slapping hands with teammates before returning to the locker room.

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