|49ers QB Alex Smith left Sunday's 24-24 tie with St. Louis in the second quarter with a concussion. (AP)|
After what San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh deemed, "a good night's sleep," quarterback Alex Smith is doing much better a day after he suffered a concussion in the team's 24-24 tie against St. Louis.
Smith was set to meet with an independent neurologist Monday to determine the next steps in his recovery. Players were given Monday and Tuesday off following the tie before preparation begins Wednesday for their upcoming Monday night game against Chicago.
Whether Smith returns to practice Wednesday remains to be seen.
“It all depends, really, on when Alex is cleared to come to back to practice,” Harbaugh said. “Rather than speculate, we'll let it play out. There's a progression and evaluations that have to be gone through before we really know anyway.”
Smith picked up a first down on a quarterback sneak in the second quarter Sunday and immediately had blurry vision. Harbaugh said Smith thought it was something that would go away, but it did not.
He remained in the game for six more plays -- completing 3 of 3 passes, including a touchdown -- but when he returned to the bench, he alerted Harbaugh to his condition.
“That's when we made the move,” Harbaugh said.
It was originally thought that the concussion occurred on a play in which Smith scrambled and took what appeared to be a hit to his head, but he didn't have any symptoms afterward.
“Our doctors were good,” Harbaugh said. “They were very proactive on that hit. They watched it on the monitors and [Smith] had no symptoms after that hit. He was cleared to play.
“So, I think our doctors handled it very well. There's no telling. Did that earlier hit contribute? I don't know. I don't think Alex knows for sure either.”
Smith was 7 of 8 for 72 yards before he exited the game in favor of second-year pro Colin Kaepernick. Smith is the third known player on the team to have suffered a concussion this season, joining LT Joe Staley and G Daniel Kilgore.