Jim Harbaugh Still Has Not Named His Starter


Nov 19, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (right) and quarterback Alex Smith before the game against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

A wise-man once said, from what was told, no starting player can lose their starting job to an injury. If this is the case, San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback Alex Smith will start when he is cleared by doctors Saturday. However, 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh probably would not have revealed the true of his decision if Smith was cleared earlier this week for the sake of a competitive advantage.

Harbaugh established in his press conference Friday that his decision to start backup signal caller Colin Keapernick Sunday against the New Orleans Saints (5-5) is not finalized as he awaits an answer from team doctors to clear the former first overall draft pick from 2005.

“No. We feel like there’s no competitive advantage for us to release that information, for our organization or for our team,” said Harbaugh.

When asked if there was a competitive advantage in releasing information concerning of team, Harbaugh stated: “Possibly.”

“Possibly. Not saying that, maybe it’s a one percent maybe, small percentage,” said Harbaugh. “Could be. We’ll chase that, sure. Just don’t see the significant—just like at any position. We just do not get into what the role’s going to be, how we’re going to use them, and the specifics of that.

“Again with that information we’ll just not release.”

According to Sports Illustrated earlier this week, Harbaugh stated he told Smith he was going to start Keapernick over him. Harbaugh denied that report.

“Not factual. Not factual,” said Harbaugh. “And I know there are probably a lot of reports out there. [49ers director of public relations] Bob [Lange] brought some of them to my attention. Really I didn’t see any that were factual that he showed me, including that one. And again, we could set our watch here for another 10, 15 minutes if you want and you could keep asking questions and the answers will still be the same.”

As for Smith, Harbaugh says clearance will be made known Saturday.

“Alex went through his final test today,” said Harbaugh. “And will be cleared tomorrow, if tomorrow again there are no symptoms. And it’s been good. He hasn’t had any symptoms since Tuesday. So, that’s a real positive.”