Alex Smith: 49ers Must Start Colin Kaepernick at QB vs. Bears in Week 11

Nicholas GossCorrespondent INovember 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers throws before a game against the Seattle Seahawks on October 18, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 13-6.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Alex Smith left the San Francisco 49ers' game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday with a concussion, and to ensure that the NFC West leaders don't ruin their chances of winning the Super Bowl, the team must sit their starting quarterback in Week 11 versus the Chicago Bears.

He is listed as questionable for the Bears matchup, according to ESPN.

Starting Smith against a very physical and talented Bears defense would not be a good idea, especially after he just suffered a head injury.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh should feel confident in backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick's ability to beat the Bears at home on Monday night. The young quarterback won't have to win the game by himself, he just has to limit his mistakes and convert on crucial third downs.

The 49ers have the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL with an average of 170.2 yards gained on the ground per game. If Kaepernick gets running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter involved early and often, the offense will be fine against the Bears.

Kaepernick has played well this year when he's been given the opportunity to take some snaps. In the six games that he's appeared in, Kaepernick has rushed for 39 or more yards three times and has three rushing touchdowns.

In the Rams game, we saw how dangerous Kaepernick can be outside the pocket. Not only can he throw on the run with his powerful arm, he can beat defenses with his running skills and athleticism in the open field.

Kaepernick probably won't need to score a ton of points for the 49ers to be successful, since the Bears could be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who also suffered a concussion last week.

San Francisco has a slight lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West division, but don't need to worry about the division crown when the health of their starting quarterback is a concern.

The 49ers should still be able to win the division and earn at least one home playoff game if Smith misses one or two games recovering from a concussion, so there's no reason to play him this week unless he's 100 percent ready for contact.

Kaepernick is more than capable of playing well and giving the 49ers a chance to win while Smith recovers.