Malcolm Smith ruled out for season with torn pectoral muscle


The Alabama alum won the Butkus Award last season and would be Smith's likely replacement. They have the day off Sunday and don't return to practice until Monday morning.

In losing the presumed starter at weak-side linebacker, the 49ers will now be tasked with finding Smith's replacement. He appeared to get his arm caught on Breida's helmet and eventually exited the field.

Garnett's left knee was wrapped specifically, and that the injury is not expected to end his season, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Smith, who signed a five-year, 26.5 million deal with the 49ers this offseason, suffered a torn pectoral muscle, the team officially announced Saturday evening. Lining up next to NaVorro Bowman, the 28-year-old has been solid against the run and the pass. Smith had success playing in Seattle's defensive scheme from 2011-14, where he was coached by current defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

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The All-Star first baseman had started the second half of the season in a 5-for-39 slump that dropped his average from.315 to.295. He gave up a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before striking out Baez and getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play.

Smith's injury is a tough blow to the Niners' defense after San Francisco made him a free-agent priority in March.

Exhibiting a clear knack for getting to the ball, Foster has also recorded four interceptions in nine days practice to lead all players at camp.

If Smith is sidelined, it may expedite first-round pick Reuben Foster's insertion into the starting lineup. "As a group, we're just trying to work through it and make sure that we do our best to evaluate and give them all an equal opportunity to be evaluated".

After Smith went down on Saturday, Ray-Ray Armstrong completed the practice with the 49ers' first-team defense while Foster continued to take reps with the second unit, the Sacramento Bee reported.