Niners Sitting Down A. Smith
The San Francisco 49ers are sitting down struggling and hurting quarterback Alex Smith.
Smith returned from a separated right shoulder suffered earlier this season but indicated this week that the shoulder injury now is accompanied by a strained forearm. The former top overall selection in the NFL draft is the lowest-rated passer in the league among quarterbacks with enough attempts to qualify for the rankings, and the 49ers are on a seven-game losing streak after opening the season with high hopes and two straight victories.
Coach Mike Nolan has gone back to veteran Trent Dilfer as the starter and it's not clear how long Smith will be sidelined. It's possible that the 49ers will shut him down for the remainder of the season, although Smith is indicating he thinks he'll play again before season's end. He's waiting for an opinion from Birmingham orthopedist James Andrews. Nolan and Smith met Wednesday after the two differed in their public comments about Smith's injuries and what each had told the other about them.
Dilfer celebrated his return to the starter's job by getting into a practice-field scuffle Thursday with rookie cornerback Tarell Brown.
By Mark Maske |
November 16, 2007; 9:57 AM ET
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