49ers

Justin Smith spectator at 49ers practice

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Justin Smith spectator at 49ers practice

SANTA CLARA -- All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith, who sat out most of the second half of Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots with an unspecified injury to his left elbow, was a spectator Wednesday at 49ers practice.

Earlier, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Smith would play Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks "if it's humanly possible."

And will it be humanly possible?

"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "We'll see how he feels today and tomorrow."

Smith enters this week with a streak of 185 consecutive starts. The only game he has missed in his 12-year career was his first game as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals due to a contract dispute.

The 49ers had four other starters who wore black jerseys to signify they were off-limits to contact during practice: Outside linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks, cornerback Tarell Brown, and wide receiver Mario Manningham.

NFL rumors: 49ers offensive tackle Shon Coleman opts out of 2020 season

NFL rumors: 49ers offensive tackle Shon Coleman opts out of 2020 season

The NFL's opt-out deadline came and went Thursday, and one more 49ers player reportedly joined wide receiver Travis Benjamin in deciding to sit out the upcoming 2020 season.

NFL Media's Tom Peliserro reported Thursday that San Francisco offensive tackle Shon Coleman won't play this year.

As NFL Media's Andrew Siciliano mentioned on Twitter, there is additional context behind Coleman's decision.  Coleman was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 18 years old.

Coleman's absence could be significant, as he was expected to compete to be the 49ers' swing tackle, backing up both Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey. He signed a one-year contract to remain with San Francisco this offseason after fracturing his leg in the 2019 preseason opener and missing the rest of the season.

[RELATED: Jimmy G makes positive impression on new 49ers LT Williams]

Those with personal histories of significant diseases are considered particularly at risk to the coronavirus, and as the Sacramento Bee's Chris Biderman suggested, Coleman likely is a candidate "for the $350,000 'high-risk' stipend given to players opting out due to serious medical conditions."

With Coleman's reported decision to opt out, his contract is expected to roll over to the 2021 season.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Frank Gore believes he, Joe Staley are greatest RB-OT duo ever in NFL

Frank Gore believes he, Joe Staley are greatest RB-OT duo ever in NFL

Frank Gore hasn't been shy about his bromance with Joe Staley. The current New York Jets running back took his love of the former 49ers left tackle to a new level Thursday on Twitter. 

Gore made it clear he believes he and Staley are the greatest running back-offensive tackle duo in NFL history. He certainly has a case, too.

Gore, who is entering his 16th season in the NFL and spent 10 with the 49ers, was selected by San Francisco in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Two years later, the 49ers took Staley with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2007 draft. 

After the 49ers added Staley, Gore, who now is 37 years old, rushed for 8,770 yards and scored 53 rushing touchdowns with Staley opening holes for him from 2007 through 2014. He averaged 1,096 rushing yards per year, and was named to four Pro Bowl teams.

Staley also made four straight Pro Bowls from 2011 through14 while blocking for Gore. 

This isn't the first time Gore vouched for he and Staley, too. He also called himself and Staley the "ultimate sports duo" back in March.

[RELATED: Jimmy G makes positive impression on new 49ers LT Williams]

While Gore still is playing, Staley retired from the NFL during this year's draft. He and Gore spent eight seasons together with 49ers and created and unbreakable bond. 

Off the field, it's clear these former teammates are lifelong friends.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]