After another big win, 49ers QBs still in limbo

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-26 17:02

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jim Harbaugh has watched each of his two quarterbacks lead the San Francisco 49ers to big wins in hostile, road environments - Alex Smith in the season opener at Green Bay's Lambeau Field back in September among others, and Colin Kaepernick on Sunday at the New Orleans Superdome.

Which one gets the ball on Sunday when the 49ers travel to St. Louis? Harbaugh is still mum on that, though he did say Monday he will formally announce his starting quarterback by mid-week so the players don't have to face constant questions about what they know about the situation.

Kaepernick said he was told late Saturday in a team meeting ahead of Sunday's start against the Saints.

Then, on Monday, Harbaugh offered this for thought: Yes, he's keeping everybody guessing again. Sort of.

``Alex Smith is our starting quarterback. He has not done anything to lose that job,'' Harbaugh said. ``In fact, he's playing at a very high level. Also, Colin Kaepernick, you can't categorize him as a backup quarterback, because he's started games and played very well in those games.''

Clearly, Harbaugh is growing tired of all the talk about his quarterback situation, even if much of the drama is of his own creation - and he refuses to categorize it as a ``controversy'' with two capable guys in the mix each week. He said again Monday that anything is possible this week, even using both quarterbacks in the game.

``The guys will be hammered,'' Harbaugh said. ``You go to Colin, you go to Alex, `Should you be the starter?' He's got no good answer for you. He says, `Yes, I should be the starter' - we're talking either one - and you look like you're just building up yourself. If you say no, then they hammer you because you don't think you should be the starter. Then the people, so-called subject matter experts, who talk about, ``You should be making a fuss about it or a stink about it, you shouldn't be that accommodating,'' it sends a completely wrong message, to me, for young athletes out there, or high school quarterbacks, where their coach is trying to tell them it's about the team and all of us working together. So that one gets me upset. That's not what our two guys are about.''

The NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) now own the second-best record in the NFC behind Atlanta as they head to face the Rams in a game that will mean plenty for both teams after their 24-24 tie Nov. 11.

In recent weeks, Harbaugh has vowed to go with the ``hot hand'' as his quarterback. Now, he has two guys who fit that mold, yet Kaepernick has won back-to-back games in his first two NFL starts - the first last Monday night against the Bears before Smith was medically cleared from his concussion.

For now, Harbaugh seems to be playing both sides. He wouldn't say when asked whether he has already made a decision for Sunday.

``I think it starts with this week, this game, what gives our team the best chance to win this game, like it would at any position,'' Harbaugh said. ``So in a unique situation, you have two quarterbacks that are playing at a very high level. One's your captain, your starting quarterback. The other has played great football the last three football games.''

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, hardly looked happy on the sideline Sunday. Last week, he said the 49ers have a good problem with him and Kaepernick able to lead the team to victory, and he plans to remain positive regarding what's best for the 49ers.

``He's a class act all the way -team player, that's why he has been voted captain by our players,'' Harbaugh said. ``They're great team guys, they're great example guys. We need them both. Both have played extremely well.''

In his lone two NFL starts last week, Kaepernick completed 48 of 74 passes for 680 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and was sacked six times. He has a 102.3 passer rating.

``He's a good athlete and I know that we respected him. You don't really know until you get on him for real,'' Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Monday. ``I tip my hat to him. We had some people on him who could have finished him and didn't and that's because he's a pretty good athlete and that makes it tough. He's going to make a lot of people miss.''

Smith, meanwhile, has completed 26 of his last 28 passes and sports a 104.1 passer rating with 13 touchdowns.

While so much attention is on the team's quarterback situation, the 49ers' opportunistic defense produced a pair of pick-sixes - by Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner - and sacked record-setting Saints quarterback Drew Brees five times Sunday.

Harbaugh will be looking for the same kind of performances Sunday against the Rams. Both teams missed field goals in overtime and left Candlestick Park feeling as if they let the game slip away. It was the NFL's first tie in four years.

Not that Harbaugh is looking back at that frustrating finish.

``Really have a whole new light on unfinished business. I think all this is new business,'' he said. ``The new business is this game, this most important game because it's our next game. It's just that hard focus on that. It's not about unfinished business, it's about new business. New business is getting prepared to travel well, prepare to practice well and prepare to go there and do what it takes to be victorious.''


AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this story.


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Travis KelceNov 27 07:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) tweaked his ankle in practice Friday, Nov. 27, but head coach Andy Reid thinks Kelce will be fine for Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

Danny AmendolaNov 27 07:33p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Nov. 27, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.

Emmanuel SandersNov 27 07:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) and TE Owen Daniels (knee) both practiced in full Friday, Nov. 27, and are probable against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Michael FloydNov 27 06:23p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is questionable to play in Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Nick FolesNov 27 06:23p

St. Louis Rams QB Nick Foles is prepared to start in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals with QB Case Keenum (concussion) still in the concussion protocol, according to [ More ]

Travis KelceNov 27 06:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (groin) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Malcom FloydNov 27 06:03p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) said he felt good the last few days in practice and has full range of motion in his injured left shoulder. Floyd [ More ]

Charcandrick WestNov 27 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Kellen MooreNov 27 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback again with QB Tony Romo (clavicle) out for the rest of the year. The Cowboys expect Romo to be 100% [ More ]

Tevin ColemanNov 27 05:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman will start in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings with RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) injured. Coleman has 59 carries for 231 yards and a [ More ]

Isaiah PeadNov 27 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Fitzgerald Toussaint was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Friday, Nov. 27, and RB Isaiah Pead was released in a corresponding move.

Malcom FloydNov 27 05:03p

San Diego Chargers TEs Antonio Gates (hip) and Ladarius Green (ankle) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) are listed as probable for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Greg ZuerleinNov 27 04:53p

St. Louis Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) was added to the injury report Friday, Nov. 27, as a limited participant. He is questionable for Week 12.

Case KeenumNov 27 04:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the New York Jets.

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 27 03:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) is listed as doubtful for Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Larry DonnellNov 27 02:43p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell (neck) is out for Week 12.

Nolan CarrollNov 27 02:33p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nolan Carroll (ankle) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Darrelle RevisNov 27 02:23p

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Darqueze DennardNov 27 02:23p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) was placed on the season-ending Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 27. Dennard will undergo surgery on damaged ligaments in his injured shoulder, according to a source.

Dexter McClusterNov 27 02:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) didn't practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 12.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 01:53p

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) sat out of practice Friday, Nov. 27, to be ready for Week 12 Sunday, Nov. 29, according to head coach Dan Campbell.

Charcandrick WestNov 27 01:43p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is out of practice Friday, Nov. 27.

Matt BryantNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Devonta FreemanNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Leonard HankersonNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 27 11:43a

Updating earlier reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) had a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27, that confirmed a hairline fracture in his left collarbone, and his season is [ More ]

Brent UrbanNov 27 11:03a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27. DE Brent Urban (biceps) was activated from short-term Injured Reserve.

Justin ForsettNov 27 10:23a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 27 08:53a

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (clavicle) tests were inconclusive, which the team was adamant about. He'll have a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 26 09:43p

Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) will have more tests on his injured left collarbone Friday, Nov. 27, but a source close to the situation [ More ]

Ameer AbdullahNov 26 09:43p

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah had 16 carries for a team-high 63 yards and one catch for 12 yards in a 45-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group