Programming note: For comprehensive 49ers coverage, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 p.m. and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SANTA CLARA – Defensive lineman Justin Smith, a 14-year veteran, has not practiced on Wednesdays during the entire season. Recently, he has gotten Thursdays off, too.
Smith's absences are described as "not injury related," as the team wants to give his veteran body enough rest to fully recover between games. But Smith is on the injury report, as he is getting treatment for lower back stiffness.
When asked about Smith being on the 49ers’ injury report this week with the back ailment, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said, “(It’s) news to me.”
[RELATED: Justin Smith lands on 49ers injury report]
Obviously, Fangio is not the least-bit concerned about Smith’s availability for Thursday night’s pivotal NFC West game against the Seattle Seahawks.
“That would be news to me if he didn’t,” Fangio said.
Smith, however, has taken on a lighter workload this season. He is not practicing as much, and he is getting more rest during games, too. Defensive lineman Ray McDonald is playing 10 percent more than Smith.
“There are times he takes himself out if we get an extended drive,” Fangio said. “And there are times we roll guys in there.”