QB Smith targeting October 21 return

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers quarterbackSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said that he’s more encouraged than ever that he should be able to return for the team’s regularly scheduled game against the New York Giants.  Smith, who is suffering from a Grade 3 shoulder separation, took a few throws before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens and said his arm felt good.

Smith told the Sacramento Bee, “I thought I’d make some improvement early, but the last couple of days have been great.”  While Smith watched from the sidelines, replacement QB Trent Dilfer went 12-of-19 for 126 yards and a touchdown and an interception.  Yet 49ers head coach Mike Nolan professed to still have confidence in Dilfer, saying, “If Alex is not well, it will be Trent again.  And I will be comfortable with that.”

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