Quarterback Alex Smith said he does have a broken bone in his shoulder, but he still doesn't know what his treatment plan will be. Smith is not wearing a sling to protect the injury, but he has been told to stay away from contact or throwing.
"Just letting it try to settle down; get the inflammation out of there," said Smith. "There's a broken bone in there, so I'm not trying to get it to move or anything."
Surgery is one possible outcome, but not necessarily the only course of action.
"There's a possibility of yes and no, so we're just trying to figure out what we're going to do with it and how we're going to treat it."
Smith hoped to know more today, but he's still waiting to hear back from Dr. Andrews in Birmingham, who performed the surgery on his three torn ligaments last season.
The fourth-year quarterback called the injury a "freak" occurrence, saying he doesn't believe he took any hard hits in the preaseason that would have caused the fracture.
"They don't know. In theory, just throwing would be really hard to do. It's kind of a freaky deal. They said it couldn't happen – kind of impossible. So I don't know if I did do something getting hit. But I cannot remember taking anything even close to it - a major blow in the preseason. So nothing I can even recall – even feeling anything. So I don't know."
Smith said he definitely felt something during last Friday's afternoon practice.
"It had some soreness at times but nothing like this. One throw and I knew something was wrong."
Asked in a follow up question if this is a pretty freak thing, he answered, "As far as I understand, very. Very, very, very."
Head coach Mike Nolan said the team is discussing several replacement possibilities including former Rams quarterback Jamie Martin, who has been exposed to the Mike Martz' offense.
"It's going to depend also when we find a better timetable because if the timetable is real long then that might mean we could look at more people," said Nolan. "If it's very short, that could change the entire complexion."