Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this week.
Coach Jim Harbaugh informed reporters of his decision to go with Kaepernick over Alex Smith on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
"We believe Colin has the hot hand, and we're going with Colin" Harbaugh said.
Kaepernick started the 49ers' win over New Orleans on Monday night while Smith remained on the sideline recovering from a concussion suffered Nov. 11 in a game against the Rams, which ended in a tie. Kaepernick also was the starter for the 49ers in their win over the Chicago Bears the previous week.
"This is just a decision I made as a head coach," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh made the move despite Smith's 19-5-1 record as a starter since the beginning of the 2011 season.
"Alex is a class act," Harbaugh said. "We would expect he would be ready to go in and play."
Smith could argue he had the "hot hand" completing 18 of 19 passes at Arizona on Oct. 29 and 7 of 8 attempts against the Rams a week later before he left the game with a concussion. In those two games, he compiled a passer rating of 157.1 and 143.8.
"I'm not going to compare the two," Harbaugh said. "They are both extremely good as evidenced by their play. I have seen both in practice and in games that Colin is very good. I have seen him both in practice and in games and Alex is very good."