Thursday, November 22, 2012

Source: Alex Smith Medically Cleared

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has been fully cleared medically following concussion testing, but the team is proceeding with plans to start Colin Kaepernick on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, according to a team source.

Smith told ESPN on Wednesday night that Niners coach Jim Harbaugh informed the two quarterbacks earlier in the day that Kaepernick would take all the first-team reps in practice this week leading into Sunday's game.

Harbaugh also said Wednesday the QB for the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1) could change week to week, and even during the course of a game.

Smith missed Monday night's 32-7 rout of the Bears while recovering from a concussion. He was supportive Wednesday of the success of Kaepernick, who led the team against Chicago.

"If you can't be happy for your teammate's success you're playing the wrong sport. Go play tennis or golf or something," Smith said. "That's ridiculous, I think. That doesn't belong in team sports, in my opinion. It's the quarterback position. It gets a lot of attention. We're going to get talked about."

Smith completed 18-of-19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a Monday night win Oct. 29 at Arizona for a passer rating of 157.1.

Smith then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11. He even threw a touchdown pass with blurred vision six plays after taking the hit doctors believe caused his injury.

Kaepernick went 16 for 23 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an impressive passer rating of 133.1 in his first NFL start Monday against Chicago.
The second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011 hardly seemed fazed by football's big stage.Harbaugh rated Kaepernick's debut start as "A-plus-plus."

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