Reports: 49ers bench Alex Smith for Colin Caepernick

Posted: November 24, 2012

Jim Harbaugh hasn't revealed the 49ers' starting quarterback for Sunday, at least not publicly.

But he has made up his mind, according to reports. Jim Trotter of SI.com reported that Colin Kaepernick will start in New Orleans, and ESPN.com later reported that the team was proceeding with plans to start Kaepernick.

Harbaugh reportedly told Kaepernick and Alex Smith on Wednesday and that the decision was not health-related.

Smith suffered a concussion Nov. 11 against the St. Louis Rams, and lingering symptoms kept him out of the Monday night game against the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick stepped in for his starting debut and led a 32-7 victory.

Cutler back at work

The Chicago Tribune reported that Jay Cutler returned to practice for the Bears after missing last week's game with a concussion.

Cutler's participation was limited, and his status for Sunday's game against the Vikings remained unclear.

Plugging the hole

A little rain will fall - even at Cowboys Stadium.

The roof was open for Thursday's game between the Cowboys and Redskins, and there was a brief period of rain early in the second quarter.

It was the first time since the stadium opened in 2009 that rain fell while the roof was open during a Cowboys game. The roof was closed, and the elements were shut out.

Bills CB fined

The next time a flight attendant asks Leodis McKelvin to turn off his cellphone on a plane, the Bills cornerback says he's going to listen.

McKelvin apologized Thursday after confirming he had been ticketed $75 for refusing to follow a crew member's order during a flight from New York to Buffalo on Tuesday.

"Yeah, you've got to know what you're doing and who you are. You've got to do what you're basically told," McKelvin said. "It was a misunderstanding. I apologized for it, and I'm going to pay the fine, pay my dues for what I did."

Buffalo's WIVB-TV first reported McKelvin had been fined on Wednesday.

According to a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police report, McKelvin refused to comply with a request to turn off his cellphone and place the bag that was under his seat into an overhead compartment.

Little Ben

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his wife, Ashley, welcomed their first child Wednesday. Roethlisberger posted the news about Benjamin Jr. on his website Thursday.

The quarterback said mother and baby were doing well.

- Staff and

wire reports

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