The San Francisco 49ers have had enough bad news for one season, yet it appears it is bracing itself for some more. According to a team source and as reported by Ed Werder of ESPN, starting quarterback Alex Smith is seeking out a second opinion from renowned orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews after MRI tests performed on Smith indicate that he appears to have suffered a serious injury to tendons in his shoulder.
The injury in question occurred during the 49ers’ 23-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. If the initial diagnosis, which was taken at Stanford, is confirmed by Andrews, surgery will take place almost immediately and as a result, Smith will miss the rest of the season. The 49ers have the injury listed as a “grade-3 shoulder separation” that wouldn’t need surgery. When asked about his return from this injury, Smith told ESPN, “They wouldn’t put an exact date on it, but yeah, a few weeks. Having the bye week helps, but I’ll just push it as hard as I can and try to get back as soon as possible.”
The quarterbacking duties will fall into the hands of Trent Dilfer who saw his first action last Sunday, going 12-of-33 for 128 yards. It would not totally surprise me if they search for a QB on the waiver wire and/or free agent market in light of these developments. The 49ers’ offense, as it were, already had an anemic offense. I do not see how it gets any better with Dilfer behind the wheel; this is not a knock on Dilfer as he has won a Super Bowl previously. Dilfer doesn’t exactly possess a rocket arm and he hasn’t seen any appreciable NFL action since 2005.