Friday, December 21, 2012

Jim Harbaugh upgrades Justin Smith from doubtful to questionable

On the official NFL injury report, 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith is listed as doubtful to play in Sunday night’s game against the Seahawks. But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is a little more optimistic than that.

Harbaugh told reporters at his press conference today that the team views Smith’s status as questionable.

Smith suffered an elbow injury on Sunday against the Patriots, and in his absence he showed just how important he is to San Francisco’s defense: The 49ers largely shut down the Patriots in the early part of the game while Smith was on the field, and then the Patriots scored 28 points in 15 minutes with Smith sidelined.

The only game Smith has missed in his NFL career was the first game of his rookie season, the result of a lengthy contract holdout after the Bengals chose him with the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft. He has played in 185 consecutive games since then.

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