Here's what we believe they're saying in the conversation pictured above...
Mike Singletary: Alex, congratulations.
Alex Smith: Coach, we're losing 24-10.
Singletary: Yeah, but that fumble was an all-timer. One of the worst individual plays in pro football history. Not merely bad, but funny-bad. It's your masterpiece.
Smith: Just tryin' to make plays, coach.
Singletary: NFL Films has spliced that thing into every blooper video they've ever produced, right between Pisarcik and Yepremian. Bleacher Report already ranked it on seven different top-10 lists. Todd Collins(notes) just texted me to say you're awful.
Smith: (Giggles, then composes self). Sorry, coach, but that Yepremian play is funny as [profane].
Singletary: You're out of the game, Alex.
Smith: Coach, we're only down two scores! I can feel one of those binges coming, where I look like a totally legit quarterback for, like, nine minutes of game-time!
Smith: Dude, that's like picking between Thing One and Thing Two. You're not serious.
Singletary: (Makes mad face).
Smith: I dare you to put David Carr in this game.
Singletary: (Makes maddest-ever face)
Smith: They just punted, coach. There's still time. I can do this thing!
Smith enters, briefly looks awesome, throws a pair of TD passes. But then, just when you're starting to believe, he tosses a game-ending interception inside the final minute. He finishes with 309 passing yards, three touchdowns, three turnovers, and his fifth loss in a five-week-old season.
Following the game, when asked if he might make a change at quarterback, Coach Singletary said, "It is possible."
The backup in San Francisco is, in fact, David Carr. There's little obvious reason to think he can direct the Niners' offense better than Smith, but someone here is likely to benefit from the friendly schedule ahead: OAK, at CAR, DEN, bye, STL, TB, at ARI. Michael Crabtree(notes) finally showed signs of life on Sunday night (9-105-1), and Vernon Davis(notes) has given Smith the strongest possible endorsement:
"I wanted Alex to stay in the game, because I believe in Alex," Davis said. "He has a lot of pressure on his back, and I'm for him."
San Francisco fans don't seem to be nearly as supportive of Smith at the moment, but it's tough to believe the pro-Carr lobby is sincere. And so we wait, while Coach Singletary stews.• The Chargers lost to the Raiders on Sunday, despite the fact that Darren McFadden(notes) was sidelined with a hamstring injury and Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski(notes) was knocked out of the game with a shoulder issue. It was a close contest, decided by a late defensive score, and it's easy to convince yourself that a small tweaking of the Ryan Mathews(notes)-Mike Tolbert workload distribution could have made a difference. Mathews carried nine times for 59 yards; Tolbert carried 12 times for 11, and he lost a fumble at the goal line.
Following the game, Norv Turner offered yet another hollow vote of confidence in his rookie back:
“I think Ryan will be our lead guy,” Turner said. “That’s why he’s here. I look forward to being our lead guy. (But) when you can’t do everything you need to in practice and you’re a month into your first year, there are lot of thing going on out there. We’re working for him to be the full-time guy, and I want him to be that guy.”
“He obviously gives us a burst,” Turner said.
There was no need for Norv to add that Tolbert was burst-less for the Chargers on Sunday. There's a decent chance that Mathews will claim the featured role at St. Louis, assuming he puts in a full week of practice.
• Calvin Johnson's(notes) right shoulder injury — which, again, was suffered in the fourth quarter of a game that was already decided — sounds a bit more serious than we'd originally suspected. This from the Detroit News:
"He landed funny," Schwartz said. "We'll see where it is (on Monday)."
Johnson talked after, but only said, "It's sore." When asked if he could've returned to the game, he said, "No."
The Lions don't typically share their injury information with the fantasy community, so Megatron owners will need to make decisions based on the practice reports and little else. Detroit will face the Giants on the road in Week 6, and then the team has a bye. (Unrelated: My favorite stat of the NFL season thus far was offered by Mike O'Hara, in the wake of Detroit's big victory over the St. Louis Rams. Prior to Sunday's win, the Lions had run 2,753 offensive plays since employing the Victory Formation).
• Jermichael Finley(notes) seems unusually happy for a guy about to get a Monday MRI. The early speculation is that Finley's injury is "at least" a one-week event, but it's not disastrous. We'll obviously know more about his status, as well as Aaron Rodgers'(notes) condition, later in the week.
Update: Jason La Canfora tweets that Finley actually needs a "minor knee scope," and is expected to miss three weeks. Don't simply assume that another tight end will inherit his targets; James Jones(notes) could see a few more looks, too. Although none of this will matter if Matt Flynn(notes) is at quarterback.
Addai said his right shoulder and neck area were sore.
"I'm not going to lie," he said. "(Today), that's when you actually feel more of the aches and pains. Right now, I can manage it. Turning (his head) to the left is kind of sore."
If this is merely soreness, then Addai owners have probably dodged a bullet, and Mike Hart(notes) won't be a necessary add. The Colts don't disclose meaningful injury info, however; practice participation is everything.
• Peter King and Chris Mortenson are involved in a delightful catfight over the likelihood of a Brett Favre(notes) suspension (for alleged violations of the league's perv conduct policy). Dan Wetzel offered a thorough take on the Favre situation on Sunday; there's clearly a chance that the league will take some sort of disciplinary action against No. 4. This is not exactly the way anyone thought his consecutive-game streak would end.
• Ah, now this is more like it, Rams Report Card. It's a special throwback edition, with Ds and Fs for basically everyone who isn't Steven Jackson. (In other St. Louis news, Mark Clayton's(notes) knee injury is a season-ender, as suspected. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said the injury is to Clayton's patellar tendon. Terrible news for one of the year's most surprising breakout performers. If you owned Clayton, exchange him for Danny Amendola(notes) and move on).
Photos via Getty Images
- Mike Singletary