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Sunday, September 7, 2008
Smith's post-49ers career appears closer

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SAN FRANCISCO -- Niners quarterback Alex Smith wore a sweatsuit, not a uniform, during pregame warm-ups at Candlestick Park today.

Smith stood on the sideline and chatted with the occasional passerby, at one point stepping behind the bench to speak with former 49ers quarterback Steve Bono.

The Smith-Bono pairing seemed fitting given Bono's role as player alumni coordinator. The 49ers are already on the record saying Smith's salary would prevent him from returning to the team in 2009 as a backup. The shoulder injury Smith suffered Friday might accelerate the process.

Smith told reporters a decision on his shoulder has not been made. Placing Smith on injured reserve would end his season and, most likely, his 49ers career.