Alex Smith Cleared for Non-Contact Practice and More NFC West News

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterNovember 15, 2012

May 23, 2012; Santa Clara, CA, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws the ball during OTAs at the 49ers practice facility.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

For those of you who were hoping Colin Kaepernick would make his first NFL start come Monday, you may be waiting another week. Yesterday, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was cleared by an independent neurologist to resume practicing. 

Even though Smith has been cleared to practice, it doesn't necessarily mean he is back to full health. Before he can officially start Monday night he will have to go through a "simulated contact session." It's doubtful that he could go through that "simulated contact session" right now, but in theory it doesn't have to happen until Monday. 

Prediction: We won't learn if Alex Smith will play until 90 mins before MNF kickoff.

— Kyle Bonagura (@KyleBonagura) November 15, 2012

Kyle Bonagura of made a pretty smart prediction yesterday regarding this same topic. If the 49ers are smart they won't make Smith go through the "simulated contact session" until right before kickoff—which will give him as much time to heal as possible. 

In the meantime, Kaepernick will need to be preparing as if he will get the start. If Smith doesn't pass the series of tests administered on Monday, Kaepernick will get the start. However, he said nothing has changed in terms of his preparation anyway. He always prepares as if he will be the starter regardless of No. 11's status. 

Colin Kaepernick said nothing changes for him with Smith's concussion. Always prepares like he's the starter.

— Kyle Bonagura (@KyleBonagura) November 14, 2012

With Jay Cutler's status looking doubtful, San Francisco has a good shot at having the upper hand come Monday—regardless of who is under center.


Arizona Cardinals

Kase Brammer of reports on Arizona's defensive end Calais Campbell missing practice on Wednesday. 

Travis Wakeman of Bleacher Report breaks down quarterback Matt Barkley and makes a case as to why he should be a Cardinal in 2013.


San Francisco 49ers

Cam Inman of says running back Frank Gore is ready for Monday Night Football.

Vincent Frank of Bleacher Report tells us why the next two weeks will make or break the 49ers season.


Seattle Seahawks

Thomas Holmes of Bleacher Report examines cornerback Richard Sherman and says he continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

Chris Cluff of CBS Seattle takes a look at why the Seahawks are poised for a big finish down the stretch.


St. Louis Rams

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says wide receiver Chris Givens and cornerback Janoris Jenkins are out of the doghouse. 

Jamal Collier of Bleacher Report gives us his outlook on running back Steven Jackson going forward. 



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