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Pierre Thomas leaves game vs. 49ers

Updated: January 14, 2012, 11:50 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SAN FRANCISCO -- New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas was knocked out of Saturday's 36-32 NFC divisional playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers after taking a hit to the head in the first quarter.

Thomas caught a pass from Drew Brees on the Saints' opening drive and absorbed a vicious blow from Donte Whitner just short of the goal line. Whitner jarred the ball loose, and Patrick Willis recovered for the 49ers at their own 2-yard line.

In December, the NFL instituted ...

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