The San Francisco 49ers‘ vaunted front seven lost a key member on Saturday.
Niners linebacker Malcolm Smith is out for the season with a torn pectoral, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, per sources informed of Smith’s situation. The 49ers later confirmed the injury.
Smith joined the 49ers from Oakland this offseason on a hefty five-year, $26.5 million deal with $13 million in guaranteed money. The former Super Bowl MVP will now sit out the first year of that contract.
The absence of Smith in a crowded San Francisco linebacking room opens the door — if it wasn’t already broken down — for rookie LB Reuben Foster, who has been showing out in the early goings of training camp. Expect Foster to start the season in Smith’s stead next to NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks.