Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that 49ers DE Justin Smith has a partially torn triceps injury, according to a source with knowledge of the injury.
San Francisco listed Smith’s injury as an issue with his “elbow,” but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Smith left Week 15′s game against the Patriots and in his absence, New England wound up making an incredible comeback with Smith out of the lineup. Last weekend, the 49ers’ defense struggled mightily against the Seahawks, so it appears as though they’re having a hard time adjusting to the loss of Smith.
Barrows adds that Smith’s injury “likely will require surgery in the offseason,” but the team is still holding out hope that he will be able to play through the injury in the coming weeks. It would be a huge help if the 49ers were able to secure a bye in the playoffs, but that will require a win over of the Cardinals and a loss by the Packers, which is certainly a plausible scenario.
Ricky Jean Francois will continue to fill in for Smith while he’s absent.
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