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49ers vs. Cardinals injury report: Justin Smith continues to get veteran's day off

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The 49ers and Cardinals released their first injury reports for Week 17. We take a look at the benefit of the veteran's day off for Justin Smith.

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The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals got back to work on Christmas Day, although it appeared to be at different levels. The 49ers let their players celebrate Christmas at home and then come in at 2 p.m. for meetings. They did not have a full on-field session, so the injury report is an estimation. The Cardinals, on the other hand, appeared to have a full on-field session.

The 49ers report features three players estimated as not participating. Of those three, Jonathan Goodiwn and Justin Smith are getting a veteran's day off. Smith is dealing with some wear and tear on his shoulder, but he will be practicing Thursday and Friday. At this point in his career, Smith is unlikely to ever be completely 100 percent, but with some time off each week, he can stay rested.

Additionally, one of the beat writers (I can't remember who) made a good point a week or so ago. He looked at the snap counts for last year and this year and compared the work Justin Smith and Ray McDonald were getting. The difference in snaps he's played per game from last year to this amounted to two full games off. It's not as simple as that, but not playing 90+ percent of snaps will hopefully have him that much more fresh when the playoffs get here.

Mario Manningham was estimated as a limited participant. It seems like an illness is what hindered him this past week. He sat out Thursday and Saturday practices and was limited on Friday before Monday Night Football. This week, the illness is not included, so we'll see if it gets him back on the field over Quinton Patton this Sunday.

On the Cardinals side of the report, the most notable name is safety Rashad Johnson. He is dealing with an ankle injury, and if he does not play, undrafted rookie Tony Jefferson would get the start. RotB discussed this in our post on under-the-radar players.

49ers injury report

Did not participate: C Jonathan Goodwin (not injury related), LB Dan Skuta (foot), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)

Limited participation: RB Frank Gore (knee), G Mike Iupati (knee), WR Mario Manningham (knee), TE Vance McDonald (ankle), WR Kassim Osgood (shin)

Full participation: LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), WR Michael Crabtree (wrist, ankle)

Cardinals injury report

Did not participate: LB John Abraham (groin), G Daryn Colledge (back), S Rashad Johnson (ankle)

Limited participation: DT Darnell Dockett (shoulder), TE Rob Housler (groin), RB Rashard Mendenhall (finger), QB Carson Palmer (right elbow, ankle), T Nate Potter (ribs), LB Matt Shaughnessy (groin)