San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith will require a full three months of rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on a partially torn triceps tendon, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
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Smith partially tore the tendon on Dec. 16, and diagnosis showed a tear of approximately 50 percent. Immediately after the injury, many doubted Smith's potential availability for the playoffs, as the Pro Bowler went on to miss games at the end of the regular season, a rarity for him.
That being said, Smith played in every postseason game, wearing a brace on his left elbow that heavily restricted his movement. Despite this, he still played 89.7 percent of the team's defensive plays in the postseason, according to the official snap counts.
Given that Smith is set to undergo surgery this week, the return window puts him back prior to the preseason, right around the end of San Francisco's offseason program.
Smith wasn't necessarily ineffective in the playoffs, he just wasn't as big a game-changer as he usually is. Unfortunately, his production dropped in each playoff game, which likely means his arm was getting worse and worse. He stopped getting sacks, then quarterback pressures, and then he stopped commanding double teams on every play in the Super Bowl.
In the end, Smith was given his worst grade of the season by Pro Football Focus in the Super Bowl. Joe Flacco was relatively unhindered for a majority of the game, as linebacker Aldon Smith struggled without Smith commanding the double teams and generally being as destructive as usual.