Sunday afternoon, Justin Smith made his second preseason appearance. A week after getting seven snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith got 17 snaps against the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers starting defense got stretched out a bit as the team came as close as we're going to get to a "dress rehearsal" in advance of the 2013 NFL season.
Smith spent the offseason recovering from a torn triceps muscle that weakened him and the 49ers defense during last year's playoffs. Smith could still make plays, but he as clearly not 100%. All reports have been positive this offseason, and Sunday he showed why he might very well be ready to go.
On the Vikings third series of the game, they had a 3rd and 1 near midfield. Toby Gerhart had already replaced Adrian Peterson at running back. The former Stanford product weighs 230 pounds, so he is not a little guy. The Vikings gave him the hand-off, looking to convert the short third down. Justin Smith had other ideas.
The most significant part of this GIF, minus the explosion, is that Smith drags him down in large part with the arm he injured against the Patriots. It's just one play, but it's a no-doubt Justin Smith kind of play. Toby Gerhart is a big dude, and Smith brings him down like he's a rag doll. Oh yes, I am pleased.
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