49ers may not face Seahawks QB Geno Smith on Sunday (Drew Lock instead?)

Geno Smith poses a much bigger threat to the 49ers than Drew Lock, at least that's what the consensus opinion would be.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Sunday, Dec. 10. 9-3. 42. 4:05 p.m. ET. 6-6. 36. Fox. 49ers-Seahawks gameday. 49ers -13.5

While the 49ers are dealing with some injuries, the visiting Seahawks may have to turn to Geno Smith's backup, Drew Lock.

The San Francisco 49ers are looking to sweep their NFC West division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, for the second year in a row, and head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad has a chance to do that this Sunday when the Hawks visit Levi's Stadium.

However, Seattle might be a bit shorthanded under center.

Quarterback Geno Smith (groin) is listed as questionable, and according to ESPN's Brady Henderson, the injury took place during Thursday's practice when the signal-caller tripped over someone.

"We'll see," head coach Pete Carroll said when asked if Smith would play on Sunday. "We rested him [Friday]."

Smith, a 2022 Pro Bowler, has passed for 2,918 yards this season with 15 touchdowns against nine interceptions, one of which happened two weeks ago when the Niners beat the Seahawks 31-13 on Thanksgiving

His potential absence also likely explains why the oddsmakers over at FanDuel suddenly bumped San Francisco up from a 10.5-point opening favorite to a 13.5-point favorite.

That significant of a spread usually indicates some notable change under center, and Smith's possible absence would qualify.

What should 49ers expect from backup QB Drew Lock (if he plays)?

If the Hawks don't play Smith on Sunday, Drew Lock would get the call at quarterback.

Lock, the 2019 second-round pick of the Denver Broncos who came over in that blockbuster trade involving quarterback Russell Wilson, didn't see a regular-season snap last year and has just four completions on 12 attempts over two games played in 2023.

"He's been waiting for this opportunity and looking forward to it and preparing for it," Carroll said of Lock. "If this comes to pass, then he is as ready as he can get. I'm excited about him getting a chance to play."

So, will the 49ers do anything differently if it's Lock and not Smith?

Not according to Shanahan, who said as much during his Friday press conference.

Related story: 49ers vs. Seahawks: Game time, location, odds, TV and streaming info

"All our prep work is pretty much done," Shanahan said when asked if Smith's injury would prompt any adjustments for Lock. "Similar style quarterbacks doesn’t change the scheme much, so it wouldn’t change anything regardless."

Considering the Niners own the second-best scoring defense in the league and could face a quarterback who is completing a third of his passes this season, Shanahan probably doesn't need to think about changing much anyway.

The two teams kick off on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4:05 p.m. ET from Levi's Stadium.

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