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49ers' QB Smith wondering how he lost starting job

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warm up before an NFL football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

SANTA CLARA — Alex Smith is trying to understand how he lost his job as starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers a month after being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

It's not an easy thing for the NFL's fifth-ranked quarterback to deal with this week, even though Smith already has experienced plenty of ups and downs in his tumultuous career since the 49ers made him the No. 1 overall selection of the 2005 draft.

Smith spoke with the media Thursday for the first time since coach Jim Harbaugh made Colin Kaepernick the team's starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, a rematch of the last game in which Smith appeared.

Smith is now completely healthy from the concussion he suffered in that Nov. 11 game and has been medically cleared to play.

But he'll be Kaepernick's backup for the second consecutive week. Smith is uncertain what Harbaugh's decision means for him the rest of this season.


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