Any lingering questions about Alex Smith's availability for Sunday were wiped away this morning when the quarterback was taken off the injury report. Smith is expected to go through his third straight practice when the 49ers take the field at 11:30 a.m. Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (ankle) also has been taken off the injury list. Meanwhile, running back Frank Gore (sprained right ankle) is going through a limited practice today and probably will be listed as probable on the injury report. I say 'probably' because today's practice will have a bearing on his designation. I'll have more on that after practice.
Practice squader Damane Duckett was released from Stanford Hospital last night after suffering severe cramps after Thursday's practice. He's back at the team facility but isn't practicing. The cramps caused quite a scare yesterday -- complete with fire trucks and ambulances. As it turns out, the 49ers' team doctor was on call at Stanford at the time, so the team rushed Duckett there. No word on how many IV bags it took to get the 320-pounder back on his feet.
I posted this yesterday, but I figured it's important enough to have two days in a row:
I e-mailed Alex Smith's mom, Pam, today to see if we couldn't stir up some donations toward the wildfire efforts in Southern California. For those of you who don't know, Pam Smith is the Director of Aging Services for San Diego County's Health and Human Services Dept. That means she's in charge of taking care of the thousands of seniors -- in skilled nursing centers, assisted living facilities, etc. -- who have been displaced. Everthing's been going remarkably well, Pam reports, but those who want to help can visit the following sites:
Fans also can help out prior to Sunday's game. The 49ers Wives (coaches and players' wives) will be collecting cash donations that will benefit the American Red Cross. Look for the Wives (who will be dressed in their husbands' jerseys) at gates around the stadium.
-- Matt Barrows