Colin Kaepernick reportedly to start for 49ers over Alex Smith Sunday

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The second-year signal caller will reportedly get the nod as the 49ers take on the Saints on the road.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has informed incumbent starter Alex Smith that Colin Kaepernick will be under center as the team heads to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, according to Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter.

The decision, which according to the report is not based on health, comes after a controversy arose when Harbaugh told reporters he would go with whichever quarterback had the "hot hand" following the Niners' 32-7 rout of the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

Kaepernick was masterful in his first NFL start, completing 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. He continually managed to evade pass rushers and kept the Bears' highly touted defense guessing throughout the game. More importantly, he managed to keep the ball secure and committed zero turnovers in the home win.

Smith practiced on a limited basis leading up to the game against the Bears, but was not cleared to participate in the game after suffering a concussion in the 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams a week earlier. He practiced again in a limited capacity on Wednesday.

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