Report: Justin Smith won’t play tonight


The injury report calls him doubtful.  His head coach has said that he is actually questionable.  When the list of inactive players is submitted, he will be characterized as out.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith won’t play tonight in Seattle, due to an elbow injury suffered last Sunday night against the Patriots.

Smith’s status has been cloaked in mystery all week.  From the absence of any information about his MRI results to coach Jim Harbaugh’s persistent efforts to create the impression that Smith will play, it appears that the Niners have been trying to dupe the Seahawks into thinking that Smith will be on the field.

The reality is that the 49ers are a different defense when Smith isn’t.  It’s no coincidence that the Patriots’ 28-point comeback came when Smith was gone.

Meanwhile, we can only wonder whether the league office will tell coaches moving forward that they can’t officially give one designation to a player on the final injury report and then publicly contradict it.

Either way, a streak of 185 straight appearances for Smith will end tonight.  It’s the first game he will miss since a contract holdout in 2001 as a rookie with the Bengals.

27 responses to “Report: Justin Smith won’t play tonight

  1. Why is it every other week when Brady would score a lot of points in a short span you see commentary about how great of a game Brady had but this one game it’s used as a knock on the defense? Anything short of a 40+ point lead is not safe with Brady under center.

  2. NFL fans, meet Ricky Jean Francois! Definitely going to hurt us not having Smith but this guy is very good. Hawks O has been playing well but they havent played against any LB’s like these the last 2 weeks.

  3. It’s the right call to sit him. Despite all the hype, this game isn’t worth injuring Smith. The 49ers are in the playoffs, and only need to beat Arizona at home to win the division.

  4. This will affect Aldon Smith´s pursuit of the single season sack record. Justin Smith is really a big reason he´s almost there. He singlehandedly ties up half the offensive line, and Aldon just slides right in there.

    Then again, 4 sacks in next week´s game against the Cardinals OL is very a reasonable expectation.

  5. You guys are absolutely right about Aldon Smith success being entirely attributed to Justin Smith. I mean, every time Aldon bulrushes Pro Bowl guards 60 pounds heavier than him into the ground, that’s totally because of Justin. And everybody knows all 33.5 sacks in Aldon’s career are free rush sacks due to Justin holding.

    And also, last year when Aldon wasn’t starting because Parys Haralson was, everybody remembers Parys Haralson setting the NFL sack record because of Justin’s “holding”.

    As a matter of fact, the 49ers mine as well not show up to play the game. Justin Smith is the only playmaker the 49ers have on defense because the Patriots comeback last week had nothing to do with zone scheme changes at all.

    It’s all about Justin Smith

  6. Justin Smith is a player I respect and it would be best to see our best beat your best. 49ers know this is a big loss because Seattle won’t be double teaming Ricky Jean Francois. Okung, hasn’t let a sack happen this year and has played Al. Smith, Peppers, Johnson, Allen, Ware etc. The help will be rolled to RT Breno’s side. We are down a starting CB so I’m sure they’ll attack that as well. That’s real fan talk, not just “my team is gunna smash theirs”. Go Hawks.

  7. There is a guy named Elvis dumerville who is pretty good and plays with Von miller so don’t act like Von is out there all by himself JJ Watt is having a better season than Von also

  8. Justin Smith is one of the best defensive players in the league. His absence isn’t exactly “cancelled out” by Browner and some hack defensive tackle being out.

    Ricky Jean Francois was Defensive MVP in the BCS Championship game when LSU won the national title. He’s no slouch. He’s a free agent next year, and besides playing for the win he’s playing for next year’s contract, most likely as a starter on someone’s DL.

    This is the Seahawks’ Superbowl. Don’t know who’s going to win (as opposed to all the Seahawk fans who appear to know), but the Niners will show up.

  9. Aldon has better numbers this year and had better numbers last year. Von Miller is a stud but he is also the 2nd best at his position in that draft class.

  10. Actually Miller and Watts have all around better numbers than Smith. Watts has the same mount of sacks, more tackles for loss, and a ton of pass deflections. Miller, has fewer sacks by 3.5, but 6 forced fumbels, a pick 6, and also, more tackles for loss. So, Miller and Watts are better in that draft class.

  11. Niners lose a key D lineman – Hawks don’t have a starting corner and have injury problems in the secondary. I’d say it’s almost a push, largely because Ricky Jean is a lot better than people realize. He sometimes spells the nose guard, so he’s pretty hard to push around. And, he scored a sack on Brady in the very important closing moments of the Patriots game in Foxborough. I’d like to see Aldon Smith get a couple sacks only to put to rest this fiction that his sacks only happen because of Justin Smith. Should be a great game, but I think Hawks fans are going to be surprised and disappointed just as Patriots fans were back in Beantown.

  12. “Justin Smith is one of the best defensive players in the league. His absence isn’t exactly “cancelled out” by Browner and some hack defensive tackle being out.”

    browner is a prow bowler who man handles every receiver, jones is the the hawks best interior rusher… Smith has played against okung and was shut down.. So the niners still have an advantage of our two defensive players being out..

  13. Only loser teams want one of the best players on the opposing team to be out of the big game…49ers will still win this game because they are the best in the West…Seahawks have been beating up on some terrible teams, tonight they play a truly elite team which they haven’t done since week 7

  14. Niners did not have Patrick Willis the last time they played in Seattle, and they won. So it is not over yet. I also remember seeing A. Smith sack R. Wilson last game, so all his rushes are not over Okung and ran beside J. Smith. I am thinking it is a for gone conclusion that Beast Mode will get his though.

  15. I am a rabid 49er fan, but I have to say that for a number of reasons San Francisco will get absolutely crushed tonight. The talk tomorrow will be “can Seattle go all the way” and “oh how the 49ers miss Justin Smith”.
    Aldon Smith is also injured so I could see Lynch running through the line like butter.
    Oh well, hopefully the niners will heal up in time for the playoffs.

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