Defensive lineman Justin Smith aggravated a left knee injury Sunday, and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh thought his day was over. But when the 49ers needed the defense to step up, Smith stepped out on the field.
The 49ers fell behind 7-0 early, stormed back to take a 34-13 lead, and held off a late surge to win in St. Louis 34-27. With the win, the 49ers earned the No. 2 seed a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
Linebacker Patrick Willis will return to the starting lineup for the 49ers on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams after missing three games with a right hamstring strain. However, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams are inactive.
How long is Delanie Walker out for? Who's returning kicks? Will the 49ers sign T.O.? Insider Matt Maiocco answers all your recent questions in the latest 49ers mailbag.
Receiver Joe Hastings is expected be named to the 49ers roster today, but regardless of a call, he's spent this week adhering to his ordinary schedule of mentally and physically preparing to play on Sunday.