Around the NFL  

 

Justin Smith not concerned about partially torn triceps

Justin Smith is back in action for the San Francisco 49ers, but he's rolling the dice every time he steps on the field.

Championship Sunday

Four teams are still alive in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy. On Championship Sunday, that number will be cut to two. Check out NFL.com's comprehensive scouting reports on the surviving squads:

» Darlington: Niners on road to ruin?
» Kinkhabwala: Falcons face another test
» Jones: Ravens riding emotion
» Breer: Patriots savvy and spry

On Twitter: #NFLPlayoffs

The behemoth defensive lineman played through the pain of his partially torn left triceps in Saturday night's divisional-round victory over the Green Bay Packers. The cumbersome brace on his left arm provides support, but it can't protect Smith from the risk of another major setback after he initially suffered the injury in Week 15.

"It's like anything, if it's half-torn or whatever, it could tear the rest of the way," Smith told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Wednesday. "I'm not really concerned about it. Just going to go out there and do the best I can and see what happens."

Smith is core to San Francisco's defensive scheme. The 49ers weren't the same in Smith's absence over the final two weeks of the season. We saw the Seattle Seahawks hammer away at the 49ers' front seven in Week 16. The pass rush was neutralized.

Potential physical disaster aside, Smith -- set for offseason surgery -- played 53 of 58 offensive snaps against the Packers, who double-teamed him on many of those plays. Green Bay, as predicted, sent its running game right at Smith, but he withstood the assault. He's still getting used to the brace, however, and the discomfort.

"I think there's still a comfort level of getting used to it," Smith said. "Just mentally going out there and coming out of the game and knowing how it feels and felt during the game. I'll be a lot more comfortable this week."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15