Spurred by scintillating performances in his first two games as the starter, Colin Kaepernick was named the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback for Week 13 by Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday, according to CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco:
Jim Harbaugh announces 49ers starting QB: Kaepernick.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) November 28, 2012
Harbaugh hasn't placed a "permanent" tag on Kaepernick's spot on the depth chart, but starting him against the St. Louis Rams was mostly expected. Former starter Alex Smith was cleared to play last week against the New Orleans Saints, but he was benched in favor of his younger counterpart.
That move paid huge dividends, as the 49ers defeated a red-hot New Orleans Saints team 31-21 on Sunday.
Kaepernick now has two games as a starter under his belt and has been absolutely sensational. The second-year signal-caller completed 32 of his 48 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception in wins over the Bears and Saints.
However, the real catalyst to Harbaugh's decision has to be Kaepernick's dynamic ability in the run game. Despite being used in a limited capacity, Kaepernick already has 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries in 2012.
In short, he's been everything the 49ers wanted when they traded up in the 2011 draft to take him in the second round.
While the move was expected and Kaepernick has been fantastic, that doesn't make it any less unprecedented. San Francisco was 6-2-1 with Smith as a starter, and the veteran quarterback was in the midst of a career-best season.
Nevertheless, it seems Harbaugh has decided to roll the dice with Kaepernick's upside.
With the 49ers already considered a Super Bowl contender, it will be interesting to see whether this move has any implication for games in January or February.