Alex Smith has a fracture of the coracoid process, a bone in the shoulder that is rarely broken. An MRI of the shoulder has been sent to Dr. James Andrews, who operated on Smith's separated shoulder in December. Smith won't decide on a course of action until Andrews looks at the results, but similar fractures have been treated with surgery and the insertion of pins.
The type of fracture usually is associated with severe trauma. Smith was not hit when the fracture occurred. Rather, he was throwing his final pass of Friday's practice -- a deep pass -- when he felt a sharp pain. The MRI was taken that night. He is currently being treated by team orthopedist Tim McAdams, who assisted Andrews on the December surgery. Doctors are surprised by the diagnosis and speculate that Smith may have had a stress fracture in the shoulder that gave way when he threw the deep pass on Friday.
There is a strong possibility that Smith will go on injured reserve. If that's the case, the 49ers will have to find a third quarterback. That role is being filled today by running back Michael Robinson, a former quarterback at Penn State.
-- Matt Barrows