SANTA CLARA Alex Smith on Wednesday said he was "shocked at first" when he found out wide receiver Braylon Edwards had been released but that there wasn't much time to contemplate the decision.
"When you're in the middle of the season, it's hard to have a lot of time to reflect on something like that," the quarterback said. "Personnel decisions are just something that are just a part of this, week in and week out, and I found that out my rookie year and every year since."
Coach Jim Harbaugh declined to offer a reason for Edwards' ouster, saying only that it was done to strengthen the 49ers' roster.
"We're doing what we feel is in the best interest of the team, like all decisions," Harbaugh said.
In a statement Tuesday, Edwards cited the knee injury he's been dealing with since Week 2. Smith said he noticed Edwards struggling in recent weeks.
"You could tell he was pushing through it and it was bothering him," he said. "And that's tough when you're a receiver and your wheels aren't working right. That's tough, but he showed a lot of toughness trying to step up for the team and get back healthy for us when we needed him."
Meanwhile, neither Ted Ginn (ankle) nor Kyle Williams (concussion) practiced Wednesday, forcing rookie Colin Jones to switch positions for at least a day.
Jones, who plays on the 49ers' coverage units, officially is a safety and usually practices with the defensive backs. However, the 49ers also gave him a look at wide receiver during training camp, and he appears to be filling in as a practice-team wideout this week.
Linebacker Patrick Willis (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis last week and again was listed as limited on Wednesday's participation report.
Ain't that a kick David Akers, who set an NFL single-season record for field goals (42) Saturday, was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Akers was 4 of 5 on field-goal attempts in the 49ers' 19-17 win over Seattle.
Scoring change The NFL ruled linebacker Larry Grant will be credited with a sack on the fourth-quarter play in which he forced a fumble by Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Grant previously had been credited with a tackle and a forced fumble.