|49ers OC Greg Roman denied QB Colin Kaepernick has been named the team's starting QB. (AP Images)|
A day after a report from Sports Illustrated that quarterback Alex Smith had been informed by coach Jim Harbaugh that Colin Kaepernick would be the team's starting quarterback against New Orleans, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman refuted that the conversation took place.
“No decision has been made,” said Roman, who added Smith has yet to be cleared medically following the concussion he suffered on Nov. 11 against St. Louis. “We're hopeful that Alex gets cleared tomorrow, physically.”
During a 20-minute portion of practice that is open to the media, Smith wore the familiar black non-contact jersey he has donned since his concussion against St. Louis. Roman said the breakdown of reps between Smith and Kaepernick in practice Thursay was similar to how it was last week as the team prepared for Chicago, when Kaepernick made his first career start.
Tight end Vernon Davis said he expected a decision to come Friday.
“I think tomorrow (Harbaugh) should let everybody know who the starter is going to be,” Davis said.
Davis was among a group of players that Harbaugh consulted regarding the situation at the position. The former Pro Bowl tight end said he had confidence in both players and would ultimately support either guy.
“Whatever we decide to do, I'm sure it'll work out in our favor,” Davis said. “Whether it's Kaeprnick or it's Alex.”
Before leaving early in the second quarter against the Rams, Smith was in the midst of the most impressive stretch of his career. He had completed 26 of his last 28 throws with 4 TD and 0 INT. His passer rating during that span was 151.9.
On the year, he ranks first in the NFL in completion percentage (70.0), ranks only behind Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning in passer rating (104.1) and has just 5 INTs to 13 TD passes. In the last game he played in its entirety, Smith set the NFL singe-game record for completion percentage with a minimum of 15 attempts and was subsequently honored as NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
As good as Smith was, Kaepernick's performance against the Bears matched up favorably. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and his accuracy on downfield passes was particularly impressive.
“I thought it was a really good performance on a lot of levels, not just what happened after the ball was snapped,” Roman said. “Managing the huddle, getting us up to the line, getting things done as we prescribe them. The beauty of having a quarterback like Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick is what a situation to be in.”
Thursday's injury report: Limited -- CB Tarell Brown (knee), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), S Dashon Goldson (ribs, calf), QB Alex Smith (concussion). Full participation -- LB Tavares Gooden (shin), RB Frank Gore (wrist, ribs), WR Randy Moss (finger), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), S C.J. Spillman (finger), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist, wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)