Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 12/28/12
The San Francisco 49ers have been gashed for big yardage after DT Justin Smith was injured on Dec. 16th against the New England Patriots, and he is unlikely to play in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals due to his partially torn left triceps. Moving forward after the finale, his status for the playoffs is uncertain as well. He could either miss some or all of the post-season. Not good either way. Despite the glaring loss on defense, Patrick Willis thinks the 49ers can still be a great defense without their All-Pro tackle. “You can’t really put into words what he means to this defense,” Willis said, via the Associated Press. “We most certainly miss him, and hopefully we’ll get him back for the playoffs.” “But we have a great defense, and I truly believe that. When you have what we have on our defense, we should be able to go out there and display that each time. Starting from this Sunday, we have to make sure we go out and do that on a consistent basis and play like the defense we know we’re capable of playing like.” It'll be a wait and see approach on Smith, but if the past two weeks have been any indication, San Francisco may not get too far in the post-season. When Smith went out early in the 3rd quarter, the Patriots proceeded to pick apart the 49ers defense for four straight touchdowns to make a game out of a first half blowout. Last week in Seattle is an even better gauge at just how this defense looks without Smith. Their 42-13 blowout loss to Seattle was the worst beating head coach Jim Harbaugh took in his two seasons with the team. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio doesn't see the absence of Smith as the reason why the defense looked so bad. “He’s a great player, one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and anytime you lose one of those guys it does have an adverse effect on you,” Fangio said. “But I didn’t think the problems we’ve had, the last game in particular, were because of Justin not being there. We could have had five Justin Smiths. That wasn’t the issue. We didn’t play good, didn’t coach good, and those guys just whipped us.” var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

WATCH: Klay Thompson fails miserably attempting a 360 dunk

Jays closer Roberto Osuna says he’s dealing with anxiety

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker