Smith shares shoulder experiences with Bradford

Watching Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford sustain a separated throwing shoulder against Brigham Young early in the season conjured memories of Alex Smith’s injury, which he suffered early in the 2007 season.


I approached Smith today to ask him for his thoughts on what Bradford is experiencing. As it turns out, Smith spoke to Bradford on Wednesday to help him sort out his options.

“I was watching game when he first did it, following the Mountain West, and I could tell it was probably exact same thing,” Smith said.


Smith said he had never spoken to Bradford, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, until Wednesday when they finally hook up on the phone. This came after Bradford reinjured the shoulder in the Sooners’ game Saturday against Texas. Bradford and Smith left messages for each other after the initial injury.


“We just talked about a lot of similarities between the two, and I just told him what I learned from it,” Smith said. “I kind of found out some of the things he was going through and gave him best advice that I could.”


Smith said he did not lead Bradford in any way, but he said he went through all the scenarios with him. Smith sustained a grade-3 separation, which is similar to the severity of Bradford‘s injury.


Bradford has yet to announce his plans – whether he will have surgery or not. Also, Bradford has a decision after this year to return for his senior season or declare for the NFL draft.


“He’s got some decisions ahead of him,” Smith said.


Smith tried to return after he sustained the injury in 2007. He played three games with the separated shoulder. When it became apparent he could not throw without experiencing excruciating pain, he underwent surgery.


Smith then sustained a small fracture in his shoulder in the lead-up to the 2008 regular season and was placed in injured reserve.


Now, his arm is healthy and he said it feels good. He serves as the 49ers’ backup quarterback behind Shaun Hill.


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