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Alex Smith still has to pass impact test before he could play Monday night

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Smith still has to pass a contact test to be cleared. (AP Images)

Of the three quarterbacks that had to leave their respective games last Sunday with concussions, Chicago's Jay Cutler and Philadelphia's Michael Vick won't play this week.

San Francisco's Alex Smith, however, is still questionable and has practiced this week, albeit in a limited fashion. The prevailing thought this past week has been that it looks like Smith very well could play, but he'll have to pass an impact test before he's cleared to play on Monday night against Chicago.

As the San Jose Mercury News writes, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Smith has looked good in practice. Asked if Smith has received the same amount of practice reps as normal, Roman said, “Thereabouts.”

But what is an impact test, and how will it be implemented? After tackle Joe Staley suffered a concussion against the Giants, he wasn't cleared until he went head-to-head (literally) with San Francisco linemen Joe Looney and Al Netter.

“For me, I had to bang against another person with my helmet," Staley said. "A quarterback is probably different, because his job doesn't consist of banging someone's head."

When backup lineman Daniel Kilgore was cleared, he said he sat down at a computer and passed a reaction-time test involving questions and lights. That sounds more likely for a guy of Smith's ilk. Because, as we know, it's likely Smith will be involuntarily banging helmets with opponents in the very near future.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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