49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 7, 2007
Season over for Smiley

It's never good when it requires four men to pop your shoulder back into place. When Justin Smiley told the media that story following Sunday's game in Atlanta, it seemed evident to everyone -- including Smiley -- that his season might be over. Smiley got that confirmation today after an examination by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Smiley tore the labrum in his right shoulder and will have to have season-ending surgery. David Baas will take his place at right guard.
Smiley tore the labrum in his opposite shoulder last year, but the tear was not as significant, and he was able to play through the injury for the remainder of the season. Sunday's injury, which occurred when Smiley has stretched out his arm to recover a Michael Robinson fumble, is more severe.
The injury means that the Atlanta game could have been Smiley's finale one in a 49ers' uniform. A second-round draft pick in 2004, Smiley will become a free-agent in March. It's not yet known how his injuries and the overall subpar play by the San Francisco offensive line will affect Smiley's value on the open market. At one point, Smiley and the 49ers were so far apart in their negotiations that it seemed inevitable Smiley would not return. However, questions regarding the status of several other offensive linemen -- including Jonas Jennings -- could renew interest in Smiley.
-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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