Since becoming a starter during his rookie year in 2001, 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith has never given up his spot in the starting lineup.
For 185 consecutive games, Smith has been in the starting lineup for the Bengals or Niners. That run ends on Sunday night. As reported earlier in the day, Smith is inactive for the game against the Seahawks as a result of an elbow injury suffered in last week’s win over the Patriots. Smith did not practice all week and was considered a long shot to play. Ricky Jean Francois starts in his place.
The Seahawks defense will also be shorthanded. Cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond were both game-time decisions because of hamstring injuries and the decision for both players was that they will not be on the roster Sunday night.
Quarterback Scott Tolzien, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, guard Joe Looney, safety Trenton Robinson, running back Jewel Hampton and linebacker Clark Haggans are also inactive for San Francisco. Cornerback DeShawn Shead, guard Rishaw Johsnon, guard John Moffitt, tackle Mike Person and defensive tackle Jaye Howard are the other inactive Seahawks.