UPDATES & NEWS
As expected, Panthers WR Steve Smith is active Sunday.
Smith gave himself an 89-percent chance earlier in the week, no doubt a bit of "clever" gamesmanship from the veteran chatterbox. The 49ers ranked 11th in the league against No. 1 wideouts, allowing an average of 75.2 yards per game to them, but with Carlos Rodgers inactive, things could change a bit. Perrish Cox will fill in for Rodgers and the 49ers could work out of the nickel-package mostly, just like last week, so Smith should still see a lot of defensive attention. ANALYST: Howard Bender
Rays designated P Grant Balfour for assignment.
There's no word as to why Balfour was DFA'd here as he's pitched pretty well so far, especially for a guy who had to leave the team during spring training to help take care of his ailing father. He did hit a bump in the road Saturday when he allowed three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning, but before that, he had made five appearances, pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed two hits with no runs. The Rays will likely give some reason for the move, but look for Balfour to pick up with another team fairly quickly. Analysis: Howard Bender