SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -Quarterback Alex Smith will undergo surgery on his right shoulder, ending a disappointing season for the San Francisco 49ers' former No. 1 overall draft pick.
The 49ers announced the decision late Monday night after Smith's latest consultation with team doctors and Dr. James Andrews over the separated right shoulder that has bedeviled him for nearly two months. Smith will be placed on injured reserve this week.
Smith was sacked by Seattle's Rocky Bernard on the third play of a loss to the Seahawks on Sept. 30, and he was never the same. He sat out two games with the injury, then returned for an ugly three-game stint before the 49ers removed him from the lineup for the last four games when he complained of a still-sore shoulder and an aching forearm.
Smith completed just 48.7 percent of his passes for 914 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions this season, struggling along with the rest of the NFL's lowest-ranked offense. His passer rating of 57.2 is the second-lowest among all quarterbacks who qualify for league statistics - only better than teammate Trent Dilfer's 55.1.
The injury increased tensions on the 49ers (3-10) during a hugely disappointing season for a team that began the year with playoff aspirations.
San Francisco coach Mike Nolan traded veiled insults with Tom Condon, Smith's powerful agent, over the team's handling of Smith's injury. Nolan insisted the 49ers proceeded according to their medical staff's recommendations and Smith's feelings, while Smith intimated Nolan hadn't understood his concerns.
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