Rams vs. 49ers: Colin Kaepernick gets starting nod with St. Louis's pass rush in doubt

Chris Graythen

The San Francisco 49ers will start Colin Kaepernick—and the good news for him is that Robert Quinn missed the St. Louis Rams' practice Wednesday with a concussion.

On Wednesday Colin Kaepernick was finally named the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback for Week 13 against the St. Louis Rams, ending some minor intrigue that had persisted after his Week 12 win in place of erstwhile No. 1 pick Alex Smith. Kaepernick, who played a major role in the Rams-49ers tie after Smith left with a concussion, could have an extra piece of good news coming his way, based on Wednesday's injury report: Robert Quinn, who leads the Rams with 8.5 sacks, missed practice with a concussion of his own.

Kaepernick, who's known nearly as much for his running as his passing, could take advantage of a Rams defensive line that's anything less than 100 percent—and since this quarterback controversy probably isn't over yet, and anything less than a win over the Rams will receive a full measure of media hyperfocus, he'd better. But he'll also have to watch out for the Rams' resurgent secondary, which intercepted Ryan Lindley four times after slumping through most of October and November.

Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, another No. 1 quarterback who hasn't met expectations, Sam Bradford, will have to deal with Aldon Smith and his league-leading 16 sacks. What's happened to Alex Smith will probably be on his mind as he lines up against Colin Kaepernick and company Sunday afternoon.

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