Colin Kaepernick starts, scores touchdown on second possession

AP

In news that everyone saw coming but 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh tried to keep secret anyway, Colin Kaepernick is the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback.

Kaepernick took the field with the 49ers’ offense on Sunday in New Orleans, just as everyone with half a brain has been expecting since Kaepernick’s outstanding performance on Monday night against the Bears. Alex Smith, who missed Monday night’s game with a concussion, is active as the No. 2 quarterback, and is on the sideline wearing his uniform and a baseball cap.

Unfortunately for the 49ers, Kaepernick and the starting offense didn’t do much on their opening possession, going three-and-out with Frank Gore two-yard run, a Kendall Hunter four-yard run and a Kaepernick three-yard pass to Mario Manningham.

Whatever advantage Harbaugh thought he was creating by keeping the starting quarterback secret, the Saints’ defense looked ready.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m. ET: On the second possession Kaepernick was excellent, hitting Manningham on a 40-yard pass and then running for a seven-yard touchdown.