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

November 25, 2012
Alex Smith gets final clearance from concussion

AlexSad.jpg

Alex Smith has been cleared to play following his concussion two weeks ago, a league source said today. That presumably means Smith will serve as the backup to starter Colin Kaepernick against the Saints this afternoon. There's been no word on whether No. 3 quarterback Scott Tolzien will be active for the game.

Smith suffered the concussion on Nov. 11 against the Rams after taking two blows to the head during a 12-play drive. After the drive, Smith told coaches and team doctors that his vision was blurry, and he was pulled from the game.

Smith said the symptoms grew worse that night and included nausea, headaches and blurred vision, but they got better as the week began. The 49ers moved forward thinking that Smith would be the starter against the Bears. On Sunday, however, Smith's symptoms returned , and the 49ers decided that Kaepernick would start against Chicago the next day.

Smith spent the last two weeks practicing in a black, no-contact jersey and was listed as questionable on the team's injury report this week. He passed the final post-concussion test - light contact as he threw the ball - on Friday. When he showed no symptoms on Saturday, Smith was cleared.

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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