49ers QB Smith gets clearance to practice

49ers QB Smith gets clearance to practice
September 22, 2011, 4:27 am
Share This Post

Quarterback Alex Smith received full medical clearance to participate in 49ers practice Wednesday after sustaining a concussion in the 49ers' overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.Smith was sacked six times in the game but did not report any problems to the team's medical staff during the game. It is not known when Smith sustained the concussion. But before leaving Candlestick Park, he checked in with Jeff Ferguson, 49ers director of football operations and sports medicine, and informed him that he didn't feel right.The 49ers placed him through tests, which revealed Smith had sustained a concussion, the team said Wednesday evening.

Coach Jim Harbaugh has generally not provided medical updates beyond what the NFL mandates. The 49ers did not disclose any information on Smith's concussion until Wednesday's mandatory practice participation report was submitted to the league."Tough son of a gun," Harbaugh said earlier Wednesday when asked about Smith. "He was making some big-time plays."In 2009, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced stricter concussion guidelines. The league advises that a player who sustains a concussion should not return to play or practice on the same day if he shows any signs or symptoms of a concussion.This year, teams must list all players injured during games on the first practice report of the next week. Smith took part in full practice on Wednesday. In previous seasons, a player coming off an injury like the one Smith sustained, might not have been listed on the injury report if he took part in a full practice.The 49ers followed NFL protocol in dealing with Smith's injury, which was described as a "low-grade concussion," a team spokesman said. He received full medical clearance to practice and play in Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Per league guidelines, Smith was cleared by a team physician and an independent neurological consultant.It was the first-known concussion Smith has experienced in his seven-year NFL career.The 49ers announced Wednesday that receiver Braylon Edwards (knee) and fullback
Moran Norris (fibula) will not play against the Bengals. Receiver Michael Crabtree (foot) went through a limited practice.

More Team Talk