Colin Kaepernick will make his second straight at quarterback this afternoon against the Saints, a source with knowledge of the 49ers' decision confirmed this morning.
The 49ers have yet to make any announcement, and may not until 90 minutes before game time (1:25 p.m., PST) when they have to submit lineup changes. However, Kaepernick has been taking the bulk of the practice snaps this week as Alex Smith returned from a concussion.
Smith suffered the concussion on Nov. 11, experiencing headaches, dizziness and nausea that night. By the next day, however, he felt fine, and the 49ers began that week expecting that he would start. It wasn't until Sunday that Smith arrived at team headquarters complaining that some of his symptoms had returned. That night, the team decided to play Kaepernick against the Bears on Monday.
That means that Kaepernick, in throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago, was running a game plan designed for Smith. Today's game plan is designed specifically for him.
Jim Harbaugh indicated this week that Smith's symptoms lasted until Tuesday but that he's been symptom-free since then.
A number of reports last week said -- or at least suggested -- that Kaepernick would start, the first coming from Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter. Harbaugh called those reports "not factual" while also insisting that not announcing the starter gives the 49ers a competitive advantage.
- Matt Barrows