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Torrey Smith expected to play Sunday vs. Dolphins

We break down the latest news around the 49ers No. 1 receiver.

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to have Torrey Smith back in the lineup in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins. Smith missed last week’s game against the New England Patriots with a shoulder injury, but Ian Rapoport reported that Smith should be active. Rapoport said the trainers will test it out before the game, but signs point to him playing.

Smith suffered the shoulder injury in the 49ers Week 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The missed game the following week was Smith’s first since entering the NFL in 2011. He was listed on all three of this week’s practice participation reports as limited.

Smith has not been overly involved in the 49ers passing game, so it’s not like this return makes for a huge difference in the passing game. That being said, one weakness in the Dolphins otherwise strong pass defense has been No. 1 receivers. Football Outsiders ranks the Dolphins No. 5 in defending the pass, but No. 23 in defending an opposing team’s No. 1 wide receiver. The Dolphins will send out cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett to face Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton. The passing game probably won’t be the difference-maker in a potential 49ers upset, but some kind of threat will be necessary to open up some lanes for Carlos Hyde.