Programming note: After the final gun at tonight's Bears-49ers game at Candlestick Park, change the channel to 49ers Postgame Live for analysis and interviews, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
Quarterback Alex Smith will not play Monday night against the Chicago Bears, as he was unable to get final clearance from a "neurologist," ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Monday morning, citing sources.The 49ers did not immediately respond to questions about Smith's status. The 49ers generally do not supply any information beyond what must be reported to the NFL.Smith received clearance to take part in limited practices Wednesday through Saturday. Over the past two seasons, any time a 49ers player coming off a concussion has been cleared for even one day of limited practice, he has played the next game.It was clear throughout the week that the 49ers expected Smith to start Monday night. When asked Saturday if Smith went through the same workload at practice as usual, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman answered, "Thereabouts."And how did Smith look at practice?"He's looked good," Roman said. "He's looked really sharp."So the 49ers appear ready to send backup Colin Kaepernick into action against the Chicago Bears, the league's No. 5-ranked defense, without a full week of practice. Kaepernick appears ready to make his first NFL start.
The Chicago Bears will also start their backup quarterback, Jason Campbell, who took all the snaps in the practices leading up to the game. Campbell will make his first start of the season, replacing Jay Cutler, who is also out with a concussion.