The win over the New England Patriots in Week 15 was huge for this team in terms of confidence moving forward and the 49ers proving their one of the best teams in the league heading into the postseason. Although the win was an important stepping stone heading towards the playoffs, San Francisco may have suffered a major blow with All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith going down with an injury.
Smith tried to return to the game against the Patriots with an apparent elbow injury, but headed back to the sidelines shortly after with an inability to play through it. The injury ultimately held Smith out of the following week’s matchup against the division rival Seattle Seahawks and may keep him out much longer after discovering that Smith has a partially torn triceps muscle according to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee:
Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps, according to a source with knowledge of the injury. The 49ers defensive end, who was voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl on Wednesday, injured his arm on Dec. 16 against the Patriots and has not practiced since. The source spoke about the injury on the condition of anonymity. Smith’s injury has been listed as “elbow” on the 49ers’ injury reports.