Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick will start Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to a report late Wednesday evening on SI.com.
Citing an unnamed source, the web site's Jim Trotter reported that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly told Alex Smith, who has been the team's starting quarterback before being sidelined with a concussion two games ago, that Kaepernick will get the starting nod vs. the Saints.
The report also said Harbaugh's decision to start Kaepernick was not based on Smith's health or recovery from the concussion, but on Kaepernick's performance in Monday night's 32-7 win over the Chicago Bears, who were also missing their lead quarterback, Jay Cutler, who was also out with a concussion suffered in the previous game.
Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns (and no interceptions) in the win over the Bears and in his first NFL start.
"I usually tend to go with the guy who has the hot hand," Harbaugh said earlier in the week. "But we have two quarterbacks who have a hot hand."
Kaepernick certainly had a hot hand against the Bears, leading the 49ers to a 20-0 halftime lead that increased to 27-0 in the third quarter.