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49ers Starting QB Alex Smith Sent to the Bench

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The San Francisco 49ers will start quarterback Colin Kaepernick under center this Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Rams. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made the move despite former starter Alex Smith being medically cleared to play after suffering a concussion.

In nine games this season, the 28-year-old Smith has tossed for 1,731 yards along with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. He was named the NFC’s offensive player of the week for his performance in San Francisco’s Week 8 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

“Tough,” Smith said of Harbaugh’s decision Thursday. “You kind of state your case with your play and I feel like I done that. So in that sense, it is tough.”

Smith suffered a concussion during the 49ers Week 10 game against the Rams. In his absence, Kaepernick has thrown for 591 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He has also rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

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