Will the 49ers go back to Alex Smith when he recovers from his concussion? Or will they move forward with the second-year Nevada product? Harbaugh wasn’t confirming anything in his press conference on Monday night, telling the media “We’ll see,” when asked who would be the starter moving forward.
Harbaugh said that the 49ers would likely “ride the hot hand,” which would presumably be Kaepernick after his hot start against the Chicago Bears. Not so fast though, Harbaugh clarified the remark saying that Smith had been hot before his injury.
Kaepernick was 16 for 23 with 243 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball four times for 12 yards. Smith was 6-2-1 as a starter before going down with an injury in the 49ers’ Week 10 tie against the Rams. Smith was having his best season as a pro, completing 70 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
The former No. 1 overall pick has had an up and down career, but seems to have finally put it all together under a Harbaugh offense specifically designed to his strengths. Smith does have his limitations though, including limited arm strength and deep accuracy issues. Kaepernick is young, but the 49ers could stretch the field better under his leadership.
Harbaugh’s decision may not be easy, but right now, it looks like it may not matter which side he picks. Kaepernick told ESPN after the game that he hopes he’s starting next week.