SEATTLE -- The San Francisco 49ers’ first-half touchdown in the NFC championship game proved costly.
Their Pro Bowl left guard Mike Iupati suffered an apparent serious ankle injury in the second quarter on Anthony Dixon’s one-yard touchdown dive.
Iupati lay on the field for a time, was helped off, then carted immediately to the locker room.
A press-box announcement shortly thereafter said Iupati had been taken for an X-ray, and his return was questionable.
A followup announcement said Iupati would not return.
He’s a fourth-year player who first was named to the Pro Bowl last year.
Also in the second quarter the Niners’ backup running back and punt returner, LaMichael James, suffered a neck injury when he was hit hard after muffing a punt. His return was questionable.