Alex Smith and running back Brandon Jacobs are two of the 49ers on the team's inactive list tonight. Jacobs has been healthy for more than a month but has yet to play a snap. Smith, meanwhile, did not feel well over the weekend and was held out of the game by team physicians.
"I think Alex had a lot to do (with the decision), from what I understand," said former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who said his ESPN colleague, Trent Dilfer, spoke to Smith today.
The other inactive 49ers are the usual suspects: receiver A.J. Jenkins, running back LaMichael James, guard Joe Looney, safety Trenton Robinson and nose tackle Ian Williams.
For the Bears, the inactives are: quarterback Jay cutler, receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, CB D.J. Moore, OL Edwin Williams, DT Matt Toeaina, DE Cheta Ozougwu and defensive end Shea McClellin
Young, of course, is very familiar with concussions and how they can affect a quarterback's career. He said the situation is "different now, and for the better."
He said that 20 years ago if a concussed quarterback had a big game coming up -- and on Monday Night Football, no less -- they would have played. "Big games and people on the cusp -- they usually erred on the side of playing," Young said. "I'd be the first one to run out there."
Young also had thoughts on Colin Kaepernick's first-ever start. he said Kaepernick's first rule of thumb should be to make sure he isn't the guy that loses the team the game.
"He's got the legs. Oh, he can move around," Young said. "Especially tonight -- don't throw anything you're not sure of. This is not the night to try anything new."
- Matt Barrows