SANTA CLARA -- Left tackle Joe Staley is in the midst of another Pro Bowl-caliber season that, only two months ago, seemed in dire jeopardy.
Staley writhed in pain late in the 49ers' 35-11 win at St. Louis against the Rams. He feared a broken ankle. Upon further review by the X-ray machine, it was only a sprain.
After that diagnosis, Staley calmed concerned fans through Twitter, posting: "I'm good. And I scream like no dude should ever scream lol my bad."
Staley can laugh now about that scene while he prepares for Sunday's rematch with the Rams at Candlestick Park.
"Yeah, that was funny, I guess," Staley said Wednesday of that Sept. 26 game.
Staley's mindset didn't change as if he gained a new lease on the season. Instead, he's consistently plowed ahead and protected Colin Kaepernick's blind side.
"Joe's phenomenal. He's someone you never have to worry about him doing his job," Kaepernick said. "He's going to do it every time and he's going to excel at it."
Staley's task Sunday will be to keep Robert Quinn from adding to his total of 13 sacks, the league's second-most behind the Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis (14½).
Quinn, a 2011 first-round draft pick, sacked Kaepernick once in the Sept. 26 meeting. He had 1½ sacks in the Nov. 11, 2012 tie in which Kaepernick replaced a concussion-weary Alex Smith.
"He's played the same since he got in the league," Staley said of Quinn. "He's just having a lot of success this year getting to the quarterback. The thing I see most improved -- his pass rush has always been there -- this year he's doing a great job in the run game, as well."
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the same about Quinn during a conference call with Bay Area media. Then Fisher offered compliments Staley's way.
"Joe handles everybody every week," Fisher said. "He's one of the top tackles in the league, not only from a pass-protection standpoint but also he's an outstanding run blocker."
Staley grades out as the league's top offensive tackle, according to ProFootballFocus.com, which has assigned him two sacks this season.
"I feel like I'm playing pretty well," Staley said. "I feel like I'm taking it one game at a time and just trying to do my job. I don't know whatever it ranks."