Alex Smith will lead the first-team offense during the 49ers' practice this afternoon. Of course, Smith got the first few reps of last Wednesday's practice, too, but Mike Nolan decided that his shoulder and psyche were not quite where they needed to be. Just like last week, offensive coordinator Jim Hostler, personnel chief Scot McCloughan and the team's medical staff watched Smith throw on Monday and determined that he was OK to practice this week and play in Sunday's game.
In other injury news, Jonas Jennings has an ankle injury and is questionable for the Saints game. Adam Snyder will start in at left tackle if Jennings can't play. Wideout Darrell Jackson also is questionable with a quad strain. Ashley Lelie will start at split end if Jackson can't play. Running back Frank Gore will not practice today on his sore right ankle but Nolan thinks he will return to practice later this week and be probable for Sunday's game.
-- Matt Barrows