The Chicago Bears’ game against the San Francisco 49ers tonight on Monday Night Football has taken an interesting turn. Entering Monday, the thought was that 49ers’ starting quarterback Alex Smith would indeed be the quarterback for the 49ers when Bears’ defense takes the field. Smith, suffered a concussion a week ago on Sunday against the St Louis Rams. Unlike Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, Smith was able to participate in practice with the 49ers last week. That left the impression that Smith would be the starting quarterback for the 49ers against the Bears.
That is why there was some surprise on Monday when ESPN first reported that the 49ers have ruled Smith out for tonight’s game. Chris Mortenson of ESPN was first to report the news of Smith being ruled out for tonight’s game. While Smith was cleared by team physicians to return to non-contact drills last week, the quarterback did not receive clearance from an independent physician to play in tonight’s game against the Bears.
This is a big break for the Bears. On the season, Smith has a quarterback rating of 104.1 to go along with 13 touchdown passes against only 5 interceptions. Taking the field for the 49ers on Monday will be backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick replaced Smith during the 49ers’ game against the Rams by going 11 for 17 for a total of 117 yards. In all honesty, Kaepernick likely will turn out to be the better quarterback for the 49ers in the long-term scheme of things. Being that the 2012 season is only Kaepernick’s second season in the NFL, there still is a need for the quarterback to develop before being a starter. Kaepernick likely will serve as a dual threat against the Bears as the quarterback is just as good at running the ball as he is at throwing the ball. Kaepernick has a total of 177 rushing yards this season.
Tonight will serve as Kaepernick’s first career start in the National Football League.