SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – There’s still no word on whether injured 49er defensive lineman Justin Smith will play Sunday against the Cardinals, or even be ready for the playoffs.

“He would do all the tough things,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew.

“He would play that tackle position in over the guard, and they’d do a lot of stunting, where he would work out and (pass rusher) Aldon Smith would come in, and (Justin Smith) would take two blockers and free Aldon Smith. But not only that — just being stout inside, stout against the run, stout with the pass rush and push up the middle.”

Justin Smith injured his arm early in the second half of the 49ers win over the Patriots December 16.

“That’s what gave (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady trouble in the first half, you know that he couldn’t step up, just because he was getting a push straight up the middle. When you miss (Justin Smith) against the run, and miss that middle pass rush, it’s a lot tougher on your defense.”

49er wide receiver Mario Manningham is out for the season after injuring his left knee in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks.

“Thank goodness you still have a Randy Moss,” Madden said. “He’s capable of having a big game for you, and he’s going to have to have one or two for you… a tight end could also help. I think the two tight ends could help take some of that Manningham loss away, along with Randy Moss. It doesn’t always have to be a guy at the same position.” (8:50)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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