A week after he sat out his first-ever regular-season game, 49ers receiver Torrey Smith says his shoulder is feeling better. His perspective has improved, too.
“It was actually one of the best things to happen to me with this year being so frustrating,” Smith said this week. “To sit back and watch everything – it made me appreciate being out on the field. I literally stayed out there the whole time during warmups, just watching everything, because there’s going to be a time where you’re forced to do that. And to realize that I’ve been lucky to play as many games in a row as I have.”
The 49ers list Smith as questionable to play against the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami. But unlike last week, he’s been at practice every day. He described the shoulder as feeling “way better” than it had been in the run-up to last Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
Against New England, quarterback Colin Kaepernick only completed four passes to wide receivers, and coach Chip Kelly conceded the offense was missing firepower to catch up with the Patriots’ attack.
Smith, meanwhile, is the team’s fastest and most accomplished wide receiver. But he has just five catches for 61 yards and no touchdowns in his last three starts, and he is on pace for the most meager season of his career.
His time off last week, however, gave him a second wind.
“It was eye-opening for me,” Smith said. “It kind of motivated me to get back right and try to get this thing on track.”
Ward recovering – Cornerback Jimmie Ward practiced for the second consecutive day and appears on pace to play against the Dolphins after suffering a concussion against the Patriots.
If he cannot play, rookie Rashard Robinson would start, which would pit him against former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry. The Dolphins receiver leads Miami with 60 catches and 686 receiving yards.
“Me, Jarvis and (Giants receiver) Odell (Beckham Jr.), we helped each other,” Robinson said of LSU practices. “Every day, we just went out and competed. They were a good group of receivers. Jarvis is a good player, a very good player.”
Injuries – Smith, Ward, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) and defensive lineman Quinton Dial are listed as questionable on the 49ers’ injury report.