49ers QB Smith won't play Sunday; Colts ailing

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday's game against Baltimore -- and possibly the next month -- but won't need surgery on his separated right shoulder.

Coach Mike Nolan said the 49ers won't set a target return date for Smith until Thursday, after the swelling has subsided in his shoulder. However, the NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports that Smith is expected to miss three to four weeks.

Though similar injuries sometimes require two to three months of recovery, Nolan expressed hope Smith might return by Oct. 21, when the 49ers visit the New York Giants in their first game after a bye week.

Smith was hurt on the third play of San Francisco's 23-3 loss to Seattle. Trent Dilfer will get the start against the Ravens.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said he hopes a rigorous rehabilitation program will allow him to avoid undergoing season-ending surgery on his strained right elbow.

A week after coach John Fox said Delhomme would not need to go under the knife, the quarterback acknowledged surgery is possible.

"Maybe that could happen down the line. I don't know, and that's the God's honest truth," Delhomme said. "We don't know yet."

Middle linebacker Dan Morgan also revealed for the first time that he has a partially torn Achilles tendon and is out indefinitely.

The Colts could be without Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders and Joseph Addai when they host Tampa Bay.

Coach Tony Dungy was awaiting medical updates, yet acknowledged each of those players, along with linebacker Rob Morris and No. 2 tight end Ben Utecht, could be sidelined.

"All the guys that were hurt yesterday have a chance to be out, yes," Dungy said. "I'd have to say there's a chance they'll miss some practices or a game, so as coaches we have to plan for all of them to be out."

Harrison, an eight-time Pro Bowl receiver who ranks fourth on the NFL's career receptions chart, bruised his left knee against Denver and spent the final 2 1/2 quarters in the locker room. Sanders injured his ribs in the first half and Dungy said team doctors instructed him not to play Sanders in the second. Addai, last year's top rookie rusher, couldn't finish the game after taking a hard shot to his right shoulder.

The most severe injury, however, was to Morris, who sprained his left knee late in the first half when Broncos tight end Daniel Graham was blocking him. Morris immediately fell to the ground, removed his helmet and was then taken off the field on a golf cart.

"It's not an ACL, I do know that," Dungy said. "It's a tendon injury, but I don't know the extent of it."

Utecht left the Broncos game with a concussion.

An already banged-up Buffalo defense took more hits.

Backup linebacker Kevin Harrison is lost for the season because of a knee injury. Starting safety Jim Leonhard and starting cornerback Ashton Youboty are likely to miss next Monday night's game against Dallas.

All three were hurt in Buffalo's 17-14 win over the Jets.

Leonhard has started the last three games for Ko Simpson, who was placed on injured reserve with a broken ankle sustained in the season opener. Youboty has also started the last three games since Jason Webster broke his forearm in the Bills' opening day loss to Denver. Webster was placed on IR, as well.

Harrison was signed just before the Jets game to add depth at linebacker. Rookie Paul Posluszny (broken forearm) is out for the year, while starter Keith Ellison (high ankle sprain) and backup Coy Wire (knee) remain hobbled.

Ellison, Wire and backup defensive end Ryan Denney (broken foot) all could return following the team's bye after the Dallas game.

The Seattle Seahawks lost Alvis Pearman, who was emerging as a valuable special teams player, for the season after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

Get exclusive access to the offseason for $9.99

Go behind the scenes and watch the offseason like never before.