SANTA CLARA -- Tight end Vernon Davis and safety Eric Reid are doing what Alex Smith faced a year ago before a 49ers trip to New Orleans. Well, not exactly, as they'll surely get their starting jobs back when they're cleared to return from concussions.
Davis and Reid will undergo neurological and physical tests this week after concussions forced them out of Sunday's 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Davis apparently is doing OK, judging from photos of his smiling face at two community-service events Monday. He helped build bikes for kids inside a bright, white tent at the 49ers facility earlier Monday before attending Anquan Boldin's celebrity-server charity dinner in San Jose.
Davis, who didn't miss any games after sustaining a Dec. 23 concussion in Seattle, is the 49ers' second-leading receiver and instrumental in their offense, which ranks last in passing yards per game (173.9).
The 49ers (6-3) play Sunday against the host Saints (7-2), and Davis and Reid must pass the NFL's concussion protocol to participate in the game.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Reid "seemed to be doing good after the game." Reid, a first-round draft pick who's started every game this season, also sustained a concussion Sept. 15 at Seattle. Sunday's left him sprawled face-first on the Candlestick grass for some five minutes before he walked off with the 49ers medical staff. Reid has said he sustained no concussions in his previous four seasons at LSU.
Neither Davis nor Reid returned to the field after entering the locker room for evaluations. League policy bans the media from talking to concussion-suffering players after games, and neither was seen afterward in the locker room.
A year ago, quarterback Alex Smith was coping with a concussion that knocked him out of a Nov. 11 tie against the St. Louis Rams. Post-concussion symptoms surfaced before the 49ers following game against the Chicago Bears, in which Colin Kaepernick made his starting debut. Smith eventually got cleared before their Nov. 25 game at New Orleans but Kaepernick again started, posted a 31-21 win and seized that job.