49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 17, 2012
Alex Smith still needs to pass contact test

Joe Staley today said the last step in his post-concussion protocol this year and last was the "contact test." It's very technical, so you may have to read this a few times. "I just bang away at another guy with my helmet," Staley said. "They see how you feel."

Alex Smith has yet to go through his contact test, although the test for a quarterback likely is different than that for an offensive lineman. In Staley's case, he went up against two fellow offensive linemen, rookies Joe Looney and Al Netter, for perhaps a minute or two. "They can administer it at any time," said Staley, who suffered a concussion in Week 6 against the Giants but played the following Thursday against the Seahawks.

Smith has passed all of the post-concussion steps but the last one, which likely will be administered tomorrow. He's practiced in a no-contact, black jersey the last four days and is listed as questionable on the injury report. That designation means that there's a 50-50 percent chance he'll be available Monday.

However, the way the 49ers have allocated snaps in practice this week suggests the 49ers believe Smith's chances are better than that. "Not quite as much for Alex," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said when asked to compare the quarterback's snap to a normal week. "But I think he's gotten plenty of practice time."

The rest of the 49ers on the injury report this week, including cornerback Chris Culliver, are listed as probable. They are: Culliver (shoulder), RB Anthony Dixon (hamstring), S Dashon Goldson (ribs), LB Tavares Gooden (elbow, quadricep), C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle), RB Frank Gore (ribs, wrist), G Mike Iupati (quadricep), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)


Out: QB Jay Cutler (concussion), DE Shea McClellin (concussion), DT Matt Toeaina (calf)

Probable: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), DT Henry Melton (back)

-- 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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