Fake footballers don’t like uncertainty. Much like girls, it’s the devil, and although reports all week haven’t indicated anything otherwise, we still haven’t heard a definitive answer from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh regarding his quarterback quandary, and whether or not his starter this week will be named Colin Kaepernick.
Harbaugh and answers go together like hell and ice. But dammit, Jim, we need to know, and we need to know now. With his cushy matchup against the Saints that could and should lead to an even better fantasy day than the one Matthew Stafford had yesterday (here’s to hoping, because otherwise I’ll get a prediction wrong, and that’s never happened before), Kaepernick is the week’s fantasy darling. As a fantasy option right now he’s more attractive than like eight Kate Uptons. I’ve even put up a Kaepernick poster in my bathroom medicine cabinet. No, you have a problem.
But about that starting nod from Harbaugh. We expect it’s coming, and we know it’s coming, but it’d still be nice to officially hear it before we depart for the weekend. That may not happen, but at least someone else who frequents the Niners’ locker room is speaking on the matter.
That someone is safety Donte Whitner, who told fill-in host Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show that as far as he’s concerned, Big CK is getting the start this week.
Whitner may not have realized that he was breaking news, but he revealed that — despite what coach Jim Harbaugh and the team are saying officially — the players are under the impression that Kaepernick has supplanted Alex Smith as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.
Smith is practicing, but he still hasn’t been cleared for game action, meaning that even if this decision is being made based on health (it isn’t) that clearance needs to happen. If you’re planning to start Kaepernick you’re safe to slot him in now, and not just because of Whitner’s shocking investigative reporting.
No, common sense should dictate this decision. It’s odd how in some corners there’s this view that a quarterback change comes with concrete settings, meaning Smith can never return. There’s no perception in football that’s further from the truth. If Kaepernick starts the remainder of the season, he may struggle at some point, because despite his brilliance Monday against the Bears, that’s what inexperienced quarterbacks do.
And if those struggles become too much to bear, Smith can be re-inserted, no harm done. These are professional athletes we’re discussng, and their psyches don’t combust after a simple demotion. Smith is surely disappointed, but not shattered, and if he’s asked to he could step in again and give the same level of performance he’s provided throughout the season.