Just like we always thought Jimmy and Al, BFFs forever.Alex Smith gave his situation careful thought, enjoyed his minute of making the 49ers uncomfortable, and signed the deal that binds him to the team as its starting quarterback until the next time Harbaughs wandering eye seizes upon a prize.Because thats the new nature of the relationship which is the same as the old nature of the relationship. Smith cashes in one more time, promised the chance to cement his relationship as The Guy You Like Just Enough To Wish He Was Someone Else.And Harbaugh can dream of what was and what could have been while he puts the happy face on what is.If you think about it, nobody ends up looking bad here. The 49ers did their due-est diligence and made a run at a guy they couldnt really pay for, and Smith didnt burn any bridges while waiting for events to reveal themselves.The one team that did get blown up here is Denver, and we mean that in a good way. They got Peyton Manning, they (in Shakespeares words) rid themselves of this turbulent priest in Tim Tebow, and suddenly look like not only the prohibitive favorite in the AFC West, but also a Super Bowl contender, if Las Vegas is to believed.But the 49ers, other than amusing us for the better part of a week with a few words and a bit of window shopping, are essentially unchanged. Smith is a bit more of a pure employee, and Harbaugh is less convincing as The Players Friend, but other than that, what was still is, and what will be remains open to interpretation.Thats the lesson of this week. As much fulminating as we did on the subject of the 49ers quarterback situation, we ended up where we pretty much suspected we would with Manning someone elses property, and Smith still Miss Congeniality.But heres the back end of the deal Colin Kaepernick.As Comrade Maiocco continues to say, Kaepernick is the 49ers idea of the quarterback of the future, which means that Smith just finishing looking ahead of him just in time to start looking behind him. He will begin as the starter because, well, because he should, but the question of leash length will become important if he does not hit the ground running at the same pace and gait he had last year.It means, essentially, that Alex Smiths dream of peace of mind in San Francisco is either over, or about to be. Whatever comfort he has derived from 2011 is not going to last all that much longer, even if he holds the job. He ends up after all this with Matt Flynns contract and Matt Hasselbecks security which is not the payoff he dreamed of when the season ended two months ago.But the payoff in the NFL is being day to day in a world that even Charles Darwin would find unsettling. Alex Smiths world is his head on a swivel, on the field, at practice, in the meetings, wherever 49er quarterbacks go to find out that they are going to be The Guy, Until The Guy Comes Around.
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.
“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.
The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.
“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”
The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.
The move to rookie C.J. Beathard as the 49ers’ starting quarterback is intended to be for the remainder of the season. But Brian Hoyer knows things can always change.
Hoyer, who played ineffectively after winning the starting job in the offseason, was benched on Sunday in the second quarter against Washington. The winless 49ers are Hoyer’s seventh team in nine NFL seasons, so he is familiar with rejection.
“I’ve been in this situation before and C.J. is a great kid, so I’ll be there every day trying to help him as much as I can,” Hoyer said.
“Also, the other thing is, you never know what’s going to happen – injuries and stuff like that. Obviously, you never wish that upon people but that’s what happened to me in Houston and I was right back in a few weeks later. So you’ve always got to stay ready and just be ready to do your job.”
Hoyer started for the Texans in Week 1 of 2015. Ryan Mallett took over in Week 2, but Hoyer returned to the starting lineup in Week 6.
Coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go with Beathard after Hoyer completed just four of his 11 pass attempts for 34 yards in four offensive possessions. The 49ers managed just two first downs (one by penalty) and 39 yards with Hoyer in the game.
“I can understand what Kyle did,” Hoyer said. “He tried to change some things up. I thought C.J. came in and gave those guys some life a little bit.
“It’s part of the job and, unfortunately, when you don’t play as well as you like, and your offense doesn’t play as well as you like, he’s forced to make that decision. I have the utmost respect for Kyle and I knew he was firm on his decision and I just went about trying to support C.J. as best I could.”
Beathard completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown – a 45-yard strike to Aldrick Robinson – and one interception on a desperation fourth-down attempt on the 49ers’ final offensive play of the game.
Beathard said he felt a lot of support from all of his teammates during the 49ers’ 26-24. The 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter.
“It was awesome,” said Beathard, a third-round draft pick from Iowa. “I think this team showed a lot of fight and battled hard until the end. But (we) just couldn’t get the job done. We are going to come back and get back to work on Monday and Tuesday. We have another one this week (at Levi’s Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys), so hopefully we can get a win.”