Malcolm Smith is limited

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, left, meets with Malcolm Smith during practice at the team’s NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers knew months ago they won’t have one of their starting linebackers for the season opener, Reuben Foster.

They didn’t know they probably won’t have two.

In addition to Foster, suspended until Week 3, Malcolm Smith could miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. He pulled his hamstring and the 49ers listed him Friday as doubtful.

“Doubtful is a small chance,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said in the 49ers auditorium. “So, we’ll see. He has been limited all week.”

Smith, 29, certainly was limited on Friday. He did absolutely nothing with the team. He wore shorts and tennis shoes and jogged on a side field under a trainer’s supervision. Smith didn’t even break a full stride. He seemed nowhere near ready to play Sunday.

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This article has 61 Comments

  1. I said during TC that Fred Warner would be the starter by season’s end. Looks like the Fred Warner era begins now.

    I like Warner’ instincts and quickness to the ball. He will need to build more upper body muscle in order to meet the demands of the NFL physical play.
    This year will be a learning platform to prepare him for what I believe will be a long and successful career.

    Now re Malcolm, it’s time to cut bait on him. The problem I see with Smith is that even if he gets on the field it’s a shaky proposition.
    Once the injuries start mounting up (as in his case), the Org has to seriously begin the out-boarding process.

  2. If Warner plays well during the first two games and Smith fails to play in either one before Foster returns from his suspension, then the team needs to cut ties with Smith.

    1. I wouldn’t cut ties with him. Perhaps without the pressure of starting he will get healthy and return and be productive..

  3. From a Vikings site…injuries going into Sunday’s game…

    Aviante Collins, OT – Elbow
    Pat Elflein, C – Ankle/shoulder
    Roc Thomas, RB – Ankle

    Mackensie Alexander, CB – ankle

    Xavier Rhodes, CB – Hamstring

    “With Collins out, rookie Brian O’Neill will be acting as the Vikings backup swing tackle. Meanwhile, Elflein wasn’t expected to be ready for this game and Brett Jones was acquired to hold things over until he can join the lineup. Also, only one running back between Thomas and Mike Boone was going to be active, and this makes that decision easy and gives a dinged up player time to recover.

    If Alexander can’t go, expect rookie Mike Hughes to get the start in nickel packages. While it would be his first NFL action, Hughes seemed more than capable during the preseason of performing the duties.

    It would be a massive loss to the Vikings if Rhodes can’t play. He can be a game changer with his suffocating defense by taking away an option for opposing quarterbacks.”

    1. I like Jaws and he knows that a good team needs a franchise QB.
      What ever happens this year, we now have a guy in which to build around.

      Can’t wait till tomorrow!

  4. Malcolm Smith has barely played in three years (and played poorly at his last stop, the Raiders), and we should be surprised he’s not playing week 1 after failing to get on the field during the preseason?

    Grant Cohn continues to be the worst. Why he has a readership, however small they are, baffles me.

      1. Oh yeah ?
        so the guy tears the pectoral, is a reliable player although not greatest, but we want a curling player or darts one?
        you do not really like this sport and its hardness.
        Always want perfect teddies in full health is not compatible.
        You are not a sportsman, and have to stop feeling relieved or just worried about your stomach problems

          1. you respond below this :
            “Malcolm Smith has barely played in three years (and played poorly at his last stop, the Raiders), and we should be surprised he’s not playing week 1 after failing to get on the field during the preseason?”

            ‘He’s right’

            did I miss something ?

  5. Just a reminder!

    Juanhunglo says:
    April 19, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Week 1: 10:00 a.m. Sunday, September 9 @ the Minnesota Vikings. WIN SF 23 MINN 20

    Week 2: 1:05 p.m. Sunday, September 16 vs. the Detroit Lions. WIN SF 34 DET 17

    Week 3: 10:00 a.m. Sunday, September 23 @ the Kansas City Chiefs. LOSS SF 16 KC 24

    Week 4: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, September 30 @ the Los Angeles Chargers. WIN SF 28 LAC 24

    Week 5: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, October 7 vs. the Arizona Cardinals. WIN SF 21 ARZ 17

    Week 6: 5:15 p.m. Monday, October 15 @ the Green Bay Packers. LOSS SF 19 GB 23

    Week 7: 5:20 p.m. Sunday, October 21 vs. the Los Angeles Rams. WIN SF 38 LAR 35

    Week 8: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, October 28 @ the Arizona Cardinals. LOSS SF 21 ARZ 26

    Week 9: 5:20 p.m. Thursday, November 1 vs. the Oakland Raiders. WIN SF 31 OAK 21

    Week 10: 5:15 p.m. Monday, November 12 vs. the New York Giants. WIN SF 22 NY 13

    Week 11: BYE.

    Week 12: 10:00 a.m. Sunday, November 25 @ the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. LOSS SF 24 TB 26

    Week 13: 5:20 p.m. Sunday, December 2 @ the Seattle Seahawks. LOSS SF 16 SEA 19

    Week 14: 1:05 p.m. Sunday, December 9 vs. the Denver Broncos. WIN SF 30 DEN 27

    Week 15: 1:05 p.m. Sunday, December 16 vs. the Seattle Seahawks. WIN SF 21 SEA 20

    Week 16: 1:05 p.m. Sunday, December 23 vs. the Chicago Bears. WIN SF 34 CHC 16

    Week 17: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, December 30 @ the Los Angeles Rams. LOSS SF 28 LAR 30

    10-6 Wildcard

    Just for insurance this week I took MINN in my suicide league because the last 2 years I’ve lost week 1 and flamed out so I figure maybe it will happen again! I will gladly forfeit the C note to see the Niners win, which I think they will. A little reverse psychology I guess. It’s a win win either way for me. Go Niners!

      1. Good point. I get the feeling there was something about Attaochu’s attitude or commitment that they didn’t like. It looked to me like he improved during the preseason, but I guess we all expected (or hoped) for more.

        1. I saw Attaochu get rag-dolled a couple times in preseason.
          Sorry, cubus, but that had nothing to do with attitude or commitment.

          The 49ers seem intent on getting young and athletic at every position and unless a veteran can still play at a high level like our veteran Joe Staley, they won’t make the team.

          The org didn’t know as early as last week that both M.Smith and Watson would be out for tomorrows game. Had they known both players would be out perhaps they would have kept Attoachu.
          Sometimes there are things that are just out of their control.

          1. Saleh said the following:

            “You know, with Attaochu, he did flash. It always comes back down to dependability and whether or not you can be available for game day. That defensive line is filled with NFL talent all the way, whether you’re an edge rusher or an inside guy, it doesn’t matter. We feel like we’ve got the best group of D-Line that we could’ve possibly had with the men that were in our training camp. The decision on that will always come back to dependability.”

            What do you think he meant by “dependability”?

            1. Coach speak for “we can’t rely on him” meaning he stinks. Key couple of words “NFL talent”.

              No one cantell me the pass rushing talent is where it needs to be.

            2. cubus,
              Dependability in simple terms is just “showing up.”

              But in football it could cover a little more.
              A player could have a great attitude and commitment but if they can’t perform at a high level there’s a good chance that they fail to make the roster.

              I believe that after this recent injury to Malcolm Smith the Org will start viewing him through a different lens.

              Shanahan used the word dependability in referring to Attoachu. He may need to use the same language for Smith, and Jimmy Ward – they are far from dependable.

    1. Frees up a spot for John Simon if they want him. I see he visited with the Jets today. Imo he’s the best option available.

  6. this one’s for Rocket…from the Houston Chronicle…

    “In the wake of the blockbuster contracts inked by Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, Texans Pro Bowl outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is eyeing his own future payday.
    Drafted first overall in 2014 ahead of Mack and Donald, Clowney isn’t getting a new contract and will play this season under a $12.306 million fifth-year club option.
    The contracts awarded to his peers are a motivator for Clowney, a potential franchise player candidate for 2019 depending on his health and how this season unfolds.”

    the new normal…

  7. Even if it means tanking the entire season the 49ers need to do whatever it takes to get Zach Allen in next year’s draft.

      1. Landry was drafted a few spots before Pettis in the Second. We could have drafted Derwin or Minkah in the 1st and traded up for Landry in the 2nd.

        1. Rollo,
          Different positions with Landy and Pettis, but I believe that Pettis will have more impact than Landry for their respected teams.
          We could revisit this in January.

        1. My point is that they could (and should) have addressed the situation, but for some reason chose offense with the first Teo high picks. One for a solution to a perceived shortcoming (Tackle) when a very good tackle was already available in the team. Two for a player that was unlikely to be a starter and have the kind of impact a pass rusher could.

          1. that “very good Tackle already available in the team” was a liability in Shanny’s run schemes…
            just re-visit Hyde and Brieda’s YPC numbers to the right side vs. the left side of last year’s OL…
            of course…the jury has yet to be convened– let alone be let out– on Mc Glinch’s run blocking “acumen”…
            but then again…I’d been predicting Garnett would be in a different uni by now, so what do I know…
            BTW..who are the stellar edge guys on SEA, JAX, ATL, or LAC’s defenses??
            non-rhetorical question, as I really don’t know…

      1. Dr. Love has really been working on his pass pro. He looked like Frank Gore on some of the blocks in the past two games…

    1. Good player, but I hope the 49ers don’t draft yet another DE/DT tweener. They have enough players that are similar. Time for a true edge rusher.

    2. I know he’s small, and I know he doesn’t regularly play against good teams, but one guy I really like the look of as a potential Leo is Sutton Smith. Super twitchy and very productive.

  8. Niners falter on this one and give Cousins his first opening day win: 28-17.

    Penalties, lack of pressure, drops and inability to protect JG will be keys to outcome.

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