Colin Kaepernick starting at QB for 49ers over Alex Smith as expected

Over the holidays, we passed along a report that Colin Kaepernick would start at quarterback over Alex Smith for the 49ers against the Saints this week, and Jim Harbaugh's decision wasn't based on Smith's health.

Sunday's game will reaffirm that. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora noted Sunday that the 49ers will "absolutely" go with Kaepernick instead of Smith.

What'll be interesting to see is whether Smith is active: if the 49ers list the former starting quarterback as inactive with a concussion, then Harbaugh has a little wiggle room if Kaepernick struggles.

He shouldn't. The Saints' defense is horrible even if it has improved in terms of generating turnovers the last few weeks.

The decision to go to Kaepernick is a fascinating one if only because it's so bold to "Wally Pipp" Smith after the success he's had in San Francisco.

But there aren't many reasons to question Harbaugh's moves thus far with the 49ers -- they've absolutely turned things around since he took over -- and until this quarterback change causes the 49ers to struggle, there's no reason to question him now.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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