SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF & CBS Sports) — A report from Sports Illustrated on Thursday said that San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will start Colin Kaepernick against the New Orleans Saints this upcoming weekend.

The report quoted a team source that said Harbaugh “has informed Alex Smith that Colin Kaepernick will start Sunday.” The SI report also said that the decision to start Kaepernick over Smith “is not based on health.”

Smith suffered a concussion in Week 10 of the NFL season and had to miss Week 11, with Harbaugh utilizing Kaepernick as the temporary replacement.

An NFL insider told CBS Sports that the 49ers’ locker room was the most energized it’s been all season after they crushed the Chicago Bears on Monday night and almost every player on the team wanted Kaepernick to start going forward.

As per usual, Harbaugh dismissed any kind of quarterback controversy when meeting with reporters on Wednesday.

“The way we view it right now is we have two quarterbacks that we’re confident in, have won for us and we believe in,” he said. “To me, it’s the opposite of a controversy. A controversy is an argument between opposing points of view. This is a decision that will be made from a team aspect, coming from the same direction.”

For his part, Smith on Wednesday said: “In my opinion, if you can’t be happy for your teammate’s success, you’re playing the wrong sport. Go play tennis or golf or something. That’s ridiculous, I think. That doesn’t belong in team sports, in my opinion.”


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