Harbaugh on QBs: 'Opposite of controversy'

  • Colin Kaepernick scrambles away from Stephen Paea for a short gain. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Chicago Bears, 32-7, on Monday, November 19, 2012.

    (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

SANTA CLARA — Alex Smith finds himself in familiar territory: Unsure if he's the 49ers' starting quarterback.

Coach Jim Harbaugh set no timeline in naming a starter for Sunday's game at New Orleans, and with Smith still recovering from a concussion, Colin Kaepernick remains an attractive option to make a second straight start.

"Anytime the next guy steps up and plays well, it's good for the team. Let's not get this wrong," Smith said Wednesday. "Now, does it complicate things for me and Colin? I mean, yeah.

"... There's only one guy who can be under center. It's part of the deal. But this is a good thing for this team. This is a good problem. Those are decisions for Coach."

Smith expects to earn full medical clearance for a Sunday return, although he also felt good a week ago before post-concussion symptoms resurfaced after he "tried to push it" all week in practice.

With Smith sidelined for Monday night's 32-7 win over the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns to win his first career start.

"To me, it's the opposite of a controversy," Harbaugh said. "A controversy is an argument from opposing points of view. This is coming at it from a team aspect."

Kaepernick echoed that team-first mantra and believes his dynamic with Smith remains unfazed.

"We've always been at each other's side, we've always supported each other and we're going to keep doing that," said Kaepernick, a second-round draft pick last year out of Nevada.

Smith wore a black, non-contact jersey in Wednesday morning's walk-through practice and was to wear it in the afternoon session. Smith practiced in that same capacity last week while unspecified symptoms lingered.

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