Jim Harbaugh won't announce 49ers' Week 12 QB

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

For the second consecutive week, it seems that Jim Harbaugh is planning to make his starting quarterback a mystery until game day. Or at least that was the plan before Donte Whitner opened his big mouth.

San Francisco 49ers head coach announced Friday that he does not plan on naming his starting quarterback ahead of time before Sunday's matchup against the New Orleans Saints, according beat writer Taylor Price.

Harbaugh told reporters that "there's no competitive advantage" in him releasing such information publicly and would not elaborate if he's already informed Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick of his decision. But while he was pretty close-lipped overall, Harbaugh did go out of his way to state that the national reports from earlier in the week about his QB choice were "not factual."

Harbaugh did share, though, that Smith is very close to being cleared for game action. The veteran signal caller passed his final contact test Friday and is expected to be officially cleared for contact if no symptoms reoccur this Saturday.

Although Harbaugh is doing the wise thing in trying to keep his starter a secret due to wildly differentiating playing styles of Smith and Kaepernick, the cat is kind of already out of the bag. Niners saftey Donte Whitner let it slip on the Dan Patrick Show Friday morning that Kaepernick is the team's new quarterback after his breakout performance against the Bears' bullying defense (16 of 23, 243 yards, two touchdowns).

Maybe next time Harbaugh should let his players in on his competitive advantage techniques before pretending that the name of his starting quarterback is highly confidential material.

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