Contrary to earlier reports, the San Francisco 49ers have ruled starting quarterback Alex Smith out for tonight’s Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears. Smith suffered a concussion in last week’s overtime draw with the St. Louis Rams, and will sit this one out tonight. Collin Kaepernick will get the start in his place.
Smith did not get clearance to return just one week after suffering the concussion, although there were earlier reports surfacing that said Smith would be available for tonight’s key NFC battle, but that will not be the case. The 49ers will look to remain in the hunt for a first round bye without their starting quarterback.
This game will now be a battle of back up quarterbacks who are filling in for the incumbents who were both concussed last week. Jason Campbell will start for the Bears, as Jay Cutler also did not receive clearance to play after suffering his concussion last Sunday night in a home loss to the Houston Texans.
Smith was able to practice on a limited basis this past week, although always in non contact drills only. He was not cleared for any contact, and now we know that he will not be cleared for this game tonight either.
The 6-2-1 49ers will host the 7-2 Bears in a game that could go a long way in determining which other team may have the inside track to earning a first round bye, along with the conference leading Atlanta Falcons at 9-1 through the first 10 games of the 2012 NFL season.