According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.Com, Justin Smith is not expected to play in Sunday’s game versus the Seahawks.
49ers Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Smith, listed as Q, is not expected to play Sunday night versus Seattle due to his elbow injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2012
Plagued by an elbow injury that he suffered in last week’s game against the Patriots, Justin Smith’s 185 consecutive start streak (third longest active streak) seems to be in jeopardy.
While his status for Sunday night’s prime time battle against the Seahawks remains unknown, coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t seem very optimistic when reporters asked him Friday about Smith status, saying “He’s done quite a bit, rehab, strengthening, conditioning.”
Obviously, the second-year coach wants to keep the status of the Pro-Bowler under the radar, perhaps as a ploy to bewilder the Seahawks.
What we do know for sure is Smith’s status was upgraded from doubtful to questionable on Friday afternoon despite his absence from practice for the third straight day.
However, Harbaugh told Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area that Smith play “if humanly possible” on Friday.
Last time I checked, questionable is indeed “humanly possible,” so Harbaugh seems to be sending mixed messages regarding the situation. This isn’t much of a surprise, as Harbaugh did the same with Colin Kapernick-Alex Smith drama.
My word of advice: until further details are released, don’t cut to any conclusions.