San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh did little to dampen thoughts of a quarterback controversy brewing after an outstanding performance from Colin Kaepernick against the Chicago Bears on Monday night.
Kaepernick was terrific in completing 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against one of the top defenses in the league.
“Thought Colin did an outstanding job,” Harbaugh said. “Thought he did a great job. Poise in the pocket, throwing with accuracy, did a nice job running the game plan. Everything he did was just exemplary. Really acquitted himself great and was really proud of him for that.”
Harbaugh was asked after the game if Kaepernick would be the 49ers starter now going forward following that performance.
“We’ll see. Usually tend to go with the guy who’s got the hot hand and we’ve got two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand,” Harbaugh said.
It’s hard to be much hotter than what Kaepernick managed to put together against the Bears. Then again, Alex Smith has thrown just two incompletions in the 49ers last two games before leaving last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams with a concussion. Smith is 25 for his last 27 for 304 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Harbaugh said that they made the decision Sunday that Kaepernick would start against Chicago but didn’t know until Monday morning that Smith would ultimately be unavailable. He said Kaepernick got all the reps for the 49ers in practice on Saturday and Sunday.
Kaepernick has done everything to make it a legitimate debate. Kaepernick went 11 of 17 for 117 yards along with 66 yards and a touchdown on the ground in relief of Smith last week. Coupled with his performance Monday night, it seems Harbaugh will have a decision to make this week.