Niners starting center Heitmann suffers broken leg

Updated: December 14, 2006, 9:11 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

SEATTLE -- The San Francisco 49ers suffered a major blow in the first quarter of Thursday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Starting center Eric Heitmann suffered a broken right tibia on a Frank Gore running play. Seahawks defensive end Darryl Tapp hit into the side of Heitmann's lower leg in the pileout after Gore made a 3-yard run to the Seahawks 7.

Heitmann had to be taken off the field in a cart. X-rays revealed the break that will end his season. Tony Wragge took his spot at center.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer