49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 7, 2012
49ers notes: WildKap strikes again, Smith's sore finger


Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made up for a second-quarter fumble by rushing for 33 yards in the second half, including a 16-yard touchdown run, his second in as many games. Kaepernick appeared both as a quarterback and as a wide receiver, lining up next Randy Moss on one play and then going in motion to take a handoff from Alex Smith.

Kaepernick was a surprise addition to the lineup last week against the Jets and averaged 10 yards on five carries in that game. Against the Bills, he averaged 9.8 yards a run, proving that the 49ers' version of the Wildcat - the WildKap - is difficult to stop even when opponents know it's coming.

"Sometimes there's confusion," Kaepernick said of the opponent's defense. "Sometimes it just messes with their responsibilities, what they're trying to do."

Starting quarterback Smith, meanwhile, said Kaepernick's appearances are good for the rest of the offense. "It's another thing a defense is going to have to prepare for," Smith said. "You only have so many (practice) reps during the week to get ready, the more they have to think about the better."

There was a reason why receiver Kyle Williams dropped to his knees and - two pink gloves pressed together in prayer - looked toward the heavens following a 43-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.


"It was for my grandmother," Williams said of the celebration. "My grandmother actually passed away from breast cancer, so I'm always looking forward to the whole month -- being able to wear pink and support it. And I got a touchdown today, so I was just saying hello."

A number of NFL players are wearing pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Williams donned pink cleats, gloves and had a pink towel tucked into his waistband.

Heading into Sunday's game, the 49ers hadn't had a play of more than 30 yards, and Smith had been criticized for not pushing the ball down field. Against the Bills, Smith completed two passes beyond 40 yards - a 53-yard strike to Vernon Davis in the first quarter and the pass to Williams in the second quarter.

Smith threw to Williams' back shoulder, and the receiver stopped, caught the pass and then accelerated into the end zone. "Honestly, I've got to give (Smith) all the credit because saw where the defensive back was positioned - he saw he was up high on me - and he put it in a place where only I could get it," Williams said. "He played great. He played awesome."

Only one 49er went into the Candlestick Park X-ray room after Sunday's game. It just happened to be the starting quarterback. Smith said he sprained the middle finger on his throwing hand on his final pass of the day, an incompletion to Vernon Davis.

Smith scrambled for 25 yards on the next two plays and then left the game, presumably because the 49ers were so far ahead. The finger was lightly wrapped during his post-game press conference, and Smith is likely to practice with the injury this week.

Et cetera - The 49ers coverage units, the league's best last season, continue to struggle. The Bills' Leodis McKelvin returned his first punt 80 yards for a touchdown, but the play was wiped out by a holding penalty.

The next time McKelvin touchded the ball - on a kickoff following a David Akers field goal - he returned it 59 yards and had to be chased down from behind by Tramaine Brock.

* Six different 49ers caught passes Sunday, including undrafted rookie tight end Garrett Celek. He caught one pass for four yards, the first of his career. For the second straight game, Celek was the only 49ers rookie in uniform for the game.

* With the Giants visiting Candlestick Park on Sunday, the 49ers have a chance to beat all three New York-based teams in three straight weeks.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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