49ers DT Justin Smith has to deal with the pain until only Sunday
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org January 31, 2013 6:50PM
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 29: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers answers questions from the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 29, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
RAVENS VS. 49ERSe_SFlb5:30 P.M. Sunday, Ch. 2
Updated: March 2, 2013 11:50AM
NEW ORLEANS — The pain is tolerable, but the brace 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith has to wear on his left arm after tearing a triceps tendon is unbearable.
He hates it, but he’ll deal with it for Super Bowl XLVII.
“There are things to do about the pain, so I really don’t feel the pain during the game,” said Smith, who was hurt in Week 15 and missed two games but returned in the playoffs. “The brace definitely limits you.
“I don’t like the brace. It’s just weird. It’s cumbersome, but a lot of guys play with leg braces, elbow braces, shoulder braces, torn labrums. You know we have a lot of guys playing with torn stuff.”
Smith is holding off surgery until after Sunday.
“I think they just get in there and sew it back down,” he said. “[They] reattach the tendon, sew it in, and [I] start my rehab.”
The 6-4, 285-pound Smith is crucial to the 49ers’ typically stout defense. He eats up blocks and allows others such as linebacker Aldon Smith, who was voted the team’s most valuable player, to do what they do best. Aldon Smith had 191/2 sacks, but none when Smith was out.
“He’s a guy that draws a lot of attention,” Aldon Smith said. “He’s a great player and a Pro Bowl guy. With that, if they’re doubling him, they might single me up.”
In a long news conference full of stories, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh suggested they might be doing more consoling than partying after their sons face each other in the Super Bowl.
“One thing I do think about is after the game, there’s going to be one winner, and there’s going to be one who is totally disappointed,” Jack Harbaugh said. “My thoughts are to go to that room that is not experiencing the thrill of victory.”
The Harbaughs said they had a practice run last season when John’s Ravens beat Jim’s 49ers on Thanksgiving.
“We saw Jim all by himself in his room [after the game],” Jack Harbaugh said. “He was still in his coaching outfit. His head was down in his hands.
‘‘You just looked into his eyes, and you realized this is where you were needed as a parent.”
52 on 52
Niners standout linebacker Patrick Willis wears No. 52 just like Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, but Willis won’t exactly say it’s because of the future Hall of Famer.
“This is a 49ers jersey, and this is my number,” Willis said. “I have all the respect in the world for Ray. When I chose this number, it was the best number they had at the time. When I was drafted, they asked me if I wanted 51, 57, 59 or 52. I didn’t want any of those other numbers, and 52 was the best number, I felt. I’m an even-number guy.
“Then I said to myself, ‘Why don’t I get the No. 52? I know a guy right now who wears that number who is one of the best. It will be a great number to play up to.’ That’s kind of how it came about.”