Yesterday, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee revealed that 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps muscle. Smith suffered the injury in the third quarter when pushing off of a Patriots offensive lineman. The "Cowboy" tried to return to the game after the injury, but only lasted a couple of plays due to the pain.
Barrows' article also pointed out a statement made by a spokesperson from the 49ers:
A team spokesman said today a bone spur became detached when Smith's triceps tendon partially tore. The bone spur remains in his left elbow. That's why the injury has been characterized as an elbow injury.
Remember, outside linebacker Parys Haralson also suffered a torn triceps muscle back in September that sidelined him for the entire season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh says the two injuries are different from one another based on the fact Haralson's was a full tear.
Regardless, both instances require surgery, but the 49ers are hoping Smith can prolong surgery so he can make some sort of an impact in the playoffs. It's highly unlikely Smith will suit up and play this weekend, but the hope is that San Francisco takes care of Arizona and Minnesota beats Green Bay in an effort to earn a first-round bye.
That would allow No. 94 to heal up a little bit in the hopes of returning for the divisional round of the playoffs. It's evident that the 49ers defense runs through the 12-year pro out of Missouri. Just ask Aldon Smith, who hasn't recorded a sack over the course of the last two games.
With the injuries to Smith and Manningham, it appears San Francisco's health has taken a turn for the worse.
Shaun Church of Bleacher Report examines the three keys to a Cardinals victory over the 49ers.
Cam Inman of the MercuryNews.com talks about Vernon Davis' return to practice and his availability this weekend.
Phil G of Bleacher Report breaks down what Jim Harbaugh means to the 49ers.
Richard Sherman says he was "innocent to begin with," according to Kareem Copeland of NFL.com.
Ryan Riddle of Bleacher Report says Sherman's innocence is likely a joke.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sits down and talks to Steven Jackson. Jackson says he won't linger when it is time to retire.