Smith will start at weak-side linebacker in place of Reuben Foster (hamstring), who has been ruled out of Thursday's contest against the Raiders, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Smith has been the 49ers' Sam linebacker this year, only seeing the field in base formations (25.3 defensive snaps per game). The move to Will linebacker will up the veteran's snap count, making him a sneaky IDP play against his former club on Thursday Night Football. The increased role could lead to a new season high in tackles, which currently sits at five through six games.

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