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Justin Smith 'seems ready' for San Francisco 49ers


The Divisional Round

The playoffs continue this weekend, with the right to play on Championship Sunday at stake.'s analysts break down the divisional round:

» Kimberly Jones: Ravens at Broncos
» Bucky Brooks: Packers at 49ers
» Jeff Darlington: Seahawks at Falcons
» Albert Breer: Texans at Patriots

On Twitter: #NFLPlayoffs

Justin Smith hasn't played in nearly a month, but the San Francisco 49ers believe their anchoring defensive lineman will be ready for Saturday night's divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

"God willing and the creek don't rise, he's going to play," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday, via Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times.

Smith has worn a brace on his left elbow since returning to practice last Thursday. Harbaugh said he believed all along the Pro Bowl defensive end would be ready for the playoffs after tearing his triceps Dec. 16 against the New England Patriots, noting Smith showed "significant improvement" over the past week.

Suiting up is one thing. Taking on two linemen, rushing the passer and absorbing punishment is a different story. This is one of the game's grittiest players, but we expect the Packers to challenge him early and often.

We'll know out of the chute if Smith is ready for action.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.