Four years ago this month, then-49ers quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion. It opened the door for second-year second-rounder Colin Kaepernick, who seized the job and never looked back — at least not until a year or so after Smith had been traded to the Chiefs.
Now in his fourth season as the starter in Kansas City, Smith has another concussion. Unless he doesn’t. Unless he does. Unless he doesn’t.
A ping-pong week that had Smith removed from a game for a concussion evaluation, returned to the game with a clean bill of health, removed later for another concussion evaluation, diagnosed with a concussion that later was described as not a concussion, but then ultimately shut down for the Week Nine game against the Jaguars has opened the door for Nick Foles to get his first start since an abysmal season in St. Louis.
Foles played very well last week in relief of Smith, completing 16 of 22 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns, a 135.2 passer rating, and perhaps most importantly an average-per-attempt of 10.1 yards.
If Foles, who has been reunited with the head coach who drafted him four years ago in Philadelphia, can continue to operate the offense that well, how can the Chiefs bench him?
For Smith, it may already be starting to feel eerily similar to 2012. For Chiefs fans, it may be a welcome development; the last time Smith lost his job due to a concussion (or, in this case, not a concussion), Smith’s replacement took the team to the Super Bowl.