"You can't lose your job due to injury" has to be one of the dumbest adages in sports, and 49er fans should be thankful that head coach Jim Harbaugh does not adhere to it.
The only thing that should be considered when determining playing time should be what gives a team its best chance to win. In the case of the 49ers, starting Colin Kaepernick at quarterback gives them their best chance to win the Super Bowl.
Check out the embedded video in case you missed news of Kaepernick being named the starter.
Now in his second-year in the league, Kaepernick gives the 49ers their highest ceiling and does that while offering stunningly excellent immediate results.
In his first two NFL starts, Kaepernick is 32-of-48 for 474 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. He's also added another touchdown on the ground.
Those are solid numbers anyway you look at them, but they aren't any better than Alex Smith's. Smith has the league's fifth-best passer rating at 104.1, and he is completing a higher percentage of passes than Kaepernick.
This isn't just about the numbers, though.
Kaepernick is a more explosive player. He has the big arm, aggressiveness, intelligence and speed to create big plays through the air or on the ground.
While Smith has similar tools, they are not as mind-blowing, and he has proven he is more of a game manager than a producer of big plays.
Give the 49ers the lead, and Smith will make the smart and safe play while guiding his team to victory. However, once he gets out of that comfort zone, he has been known to struggle. He threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in failing to lead the 49ers to a comeback victory over the Giants in Week 6.
Kaepernick does not need that same comfort zone. He can improvise, call audibles at the line and destroy defenses when plays break down.
The quick-strike ability that Kaepernick brings is what the 49ers have been missing, and he's shown he can bring that without a huge drop in efficiency.
Going with Kaepernick was the only reasonable choice for Harbaugh. He gets valuable experience for the remainder of the season, and he will make this a more dangerous and versatile team in the playoffs.