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 SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -The San Francisco 49ers could be down to one healthy quarterback for Sunday's game against St. Louis after third-stringer Shaun Hill broke his finger in practice.
Hill, who hasn't thrown a regular-season pass in six NFL seasons as a backup in Minnesota and San Francisco, broke and dislocated the index finger on his throwing hand when he banged it on a teammate's helmet during Thursday's practice.
The club discovered the fracture Friday, saying it could keep Hill sidelined for two weeks.
Alex Smith was removed from the 49ers' starting lineup Thursday to allow his sore throwing arm more time to heal, but the former No. 1 draft pick ran the scout team during Friday's practice. Smith, who didn't participate in team drills Wednesday or Thursday, still could fill in for starter Trent Dilfer if necessary, coach Mike Nolan said.
Smith publicly aired a disagreement with Nolan on Wednesday about the extent of the quarterback's injury, with Smith saying he was more hampered than the coach or his quarterback previously acknowledged by his separated right shoulder and the resulting soreness in his forearm.
``I couldn't interpret the percentage thing, so we won't go there,'' Nolan said of Smith's health. ``He's all right. He gave the defense a good look (in practice).''
The 49ers didn't have plans to sign a quarterback to their active roster, which could mean Michael Robinson would be their third option at the position. Robinson, a star collegiate quarterback at Penn State, plays running back and returns kicks for the 49ers.
Starting receiver Arnaz Battle also was a college quarterback at Notre Dame. Battle ran the scout team after Hill was injured in Thursday's workout.
Nolan left the team Friday night for Texas to attend his father's funeral, but will return before Sunday's game.
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