With Alex Smith expected to be out for 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury, the 49ers will turn to former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith at quarterback this Sunday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the 49ers a 1-point favorite over the Broncos for this Sunday’s game in London. Both teams have struggled this year, as San Francisco is coming off a loss in Carolina and Denver was absolutely destroyed at home by Oakland.
Smith won the Heisman at Ohio State in 2006. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005, but then released on September 4. Two days later, he signed with the 49ers and after primarily running the scout team in practice, he’ll start this Sunday.
As Smith has struggled over the first seven weeks of the season, fans have been clamoring for a backup quarterback to replace him. But it hasn’t been Smith – it’s been David Carr. But the former No. 1 overall pick has been passed over, which doesn’t say much about Carr’s ability to run a pro offense.
Smith’s height is a major concern, but he has a strong arm and possesses great athleticism. Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will probably game plan around running back Frank Gore this week in order to take pressure of Smith in his first game running the 49ers’ offense. Don’t expect much out of Smith in terms of the vertical passing game.