Alex Smith cleared to return to practice

November 14, 2012, 10:26 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith has been cleared to take part in at least limited practice.Smith, who was wearing a black jersey to signify that he is off-limits for contact, put on his helmet and joined his teammates in pre-practice stretching on Wednesday. Then, he threw passes during warmup drills.The fact Smith put on a helmet and was throwing appears that Smith will be available for the 49ers' game Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
The 49ers are expected to practice for approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes. Smith might address the media Wednesday after practice.According to the NFL mandate on concussions, players who sustain concussions "should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant."RELATED: Smith goes through NFL concussion protocolSmith sustained a concussion during a successful fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak on Sunday in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams. He remained in the game six more plays, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.Smith experienced blurred vision after he buried his head into the pile, where he was met by Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.When the 49ers took possession again after the Rams were held to a three-and-out, Smith was removed from the game. Colin Kaepernick entered and played the remainder of the game."What he expressed was that he came up from the sneak and had blurred vision," Harbaugh said on Monday. "He felt it would go away and he came over to the sideline and sat down. And felt like it was something that would go away, and it didn't. Then, he told me he had blurred vision, and that's when we made the move."All the 49ers appeared to be taking part in practice, including running back Frank Gore, guard Mike Iupati and outside linebacker Aldon Smith. Each of those players appeared to sustain minor injuries Sunday against the Rams.

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