Justin Smith's participation in individual drills at practice Thursday is the strongest sign yet that the San Francisco 49ers' injured defensive lineman could play in the team's divisional-round playoff game Jan. 12.
Smith has a triceps injury. He wore an elbow brace Thursday.
The 49ers have adjusted their rotation along the defensive line since Smith suffered the injury during a Week 15 victory at New England. The chart shows snap counts for the 49ers' defensive linemen on a per-game basis since Week 14.
Participating in individual drills is a positive first step. The 49ers will monitor Smith to see how the injury responds to the work.