Though all signs point toward Colin Kaepernick starting at quarterback for the 49ers this weekend, coach Jim Harbaugh held back on making an announcement Friday before the team boarded its flight to New Orleans.
During the portion of practice open to the media, Alex Smith again wore a black jersey signifying no contact — an indication that the quarterback has not been medically cleared from a concussion sustained Nov. 11.
Harbaugh said he expects Smith to be medically cleared Saturday, and that Smith hasn’t had concussion symptoms since Tuesday. His is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game.
With Smith forced to sit out Monday night, Kaepernick engineered a 32-7 thumping of the Chicago Bears defense. The second-year player from Nevada looked so impressive that there were multiple reports this week that suggested Kaepernick would start against New Orleans even if Smith were healthy. But Harbaugh is declining to tip his hand.
“I know it’s unorthodox,” Harbaugh said. “So be it. You can call me names if you want.”