49ers

Kyle Shanahan reveals 49ers didn't sustain any long-term injuries vs. Cowboys

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AP

Kyle Shanahan reveals 49ers didn't sustain any long-term injuries vs. Cowboys

The 49ers believe their rash of injuries in the first half of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys will not carry over into the regular season.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters that none of the injuries were serious enough to impact the 49ers when they open the regular season Sept. 9 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida sustained separated shoulders, Shanahan said. Breida and Kittle will not participate in the final three preseason games as a precaution in order to ensure they will be available for the start of the regular season, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith, who missed all of last season with a torn pectoral, sustained a hamstring strain on the sixth play of the game. Elijah Lee replaced him at middle linebacker.

“I do not think he’ll be available this week in Houston, but I think he’ll be week-to-week, and he’ll have a chance after this week,” Shanahan said of Smith.

Linebacker Eli Harold sustained a bruised knee and should not miss a significant amount of practice time. He is listed as “day to day.”

Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and offensive tackle Garry Gilliam now are in the NFL’s return-to-play protocol after being diagnosed with concussions.

NFL Rumors: Washington won't work out Colin Kaepernick after Alex Smith injury

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AP

NFL Rumors: Washington won't work out Colin Kaepernick after Alex Smith injury

With Alex Smith down to an injury, Washington reportedly won't turn to a man who already replaced him in similar circumstances.

Colin Kaepernick, who won the 49ers' starting quarterback job while Smith was hurt during the 2012 season, was not among the QBs Washington will work out in the wake of the season-ending injury Smith suffered Sunday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rappoport. 

[RELATED: Patriots owner Robert Kraft addresses previous Colin Kaepernick rumor]

Kaepernick's completion percentage (59.8 percent) and touchdown percentage (4.3 percent) is higher than each of the quarterbacks in question, and his interception percentage (1.8 percent), is lower, too. He has an identical postseason record to Sanchez (4-2), yet doesn't have the butt-fumble to his name. 

But the former 49ers QB has not been on an NFL roster since opting out of his contract following the 2016 season, the first in which he kneeled during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. A year ago, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against all 32 NFL owners. In August, a mediator ruled his case can proceed to trial.

Washington is still first place in the NFC East, despite losing Sunday to the Carolina Panthers. 32-year-old Colt McCoy will start in Smith's absence. He is 7-18 in his career, but has not started a regular-season game since 2014. 

Kaepernick, who Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien said "[hadn't] played football in a while" when the team decided not to sign the QB last season, last played in a regular-season game on Jan. 1, 2017 -- a 25-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann

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AP

Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann

After playing the first seven years of his career in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, Alex Smith still has plenty of fans in the Bay Area. If you're one of them, you've probably already heard the news.

Smith's season for the Washington Redskins -- at the very least -- is over.

Word to the wise: If you're the squeamish type, don't watch the replay. Just ... don't.

In the third quarter of Sunday's eventual defeat to the Houston Texans, Smith was sacked by defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive back Kareem Jackson, causing the quarterback to break both the fibula and tibia in his right leg.

As Smith writhed in pain with his ankle bent at an awkward angle, it was abundantly clear that it would be a season-ending injury. But in the minutes that followed, an eerie observation was made:

We've seen this before.

On Nov. 18, 1985, Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked by New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor on "Monday Night Football," infamously breaking Theismann's fibula and tibia in his right leg. Washington went on to lose that game 23-21, and Theismann never played another down.

Guess what Sunday's date was?

Nov. 18, 2018.

And guess what the final score of the Texans-Redskins game was?

That's right. 23-21.

So, precisely 33 years to the day, Smith suffered an identical injury to the one that forced Theismann into retirement, and the Redskins lost by an identical score. Creepy, huh?

Theismann was 35 when he suffered his injury. Smith is 34. It's unknown at this time how long his recovery will take, and the degree to which it will affect his ability to play another down in the NFL.

Smith was carted off the field and immediately taken to the hospital to undergo surgery. As Theismann himself suggested, Smith isn't necessarily destined for the same fate that he was.

"If there is a positive aspect," Theismann told ESPN, "it's that so much of medicine has changed."

Here's hoping Smith has a full and speedy recovery.