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.
--The Jacksonville Jaguars won the race to claim former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason Babin off waivers Wednesday in an attempt to improve their pass rush.
Eight teams tried to land Babin, NFL.com reported, but the Jaguars had the second highest position on the NFL's waiver claim list and took advantage of it. The Eagles released Babin on Tuesday.
The Jaguars will pick up the remaining $1.69 million on Babin's salary this season. He's scheduled to make $4.225 million next season under his current contract.
---Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh avoided a suspension, but the NFL fined him $30,000 for kicking Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub during a Thanksgiving Day game.
The league reviewed the incident and levied the fine Wednesday, NFL.com reported. Suh was blocked to the ground on the play and swung his left leg, which struck Schaub in the groin area.
Suh, considered one of the league's dirtiest players, said earlier that he didn't plan to apologize for the play.
--Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was fined $21,000 by the NFL for his hit on Chicago Bears guard Lance Louis, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.
As a result of Allen's blindside hit on Sunday, Louis tore his anterior-cruciate ligament and was placed on injured reserve Monday.
Allen was not suspended, so he will play in the Vikings' next game.
---The Miami Dolphins signed former Giants cornerback Michael Coe.
Coe spent the previous three seasons with the New York Giants where he played in 21 games with one start.
---Rookie safety Delano Howell was signed to the Indianapolis Colts' active roster from the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills.
Howell entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Stanford. He played in one game with the Bills and was waived, then re-signed, twice.
Offensive guard Seth Olsen was cleared to return to practice, but remains on injured reserve
---Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning leads all vote-getters in balloting for the 2013 Pro Bowl.
Manning has received 586,523 votes from fans, NFL.com announced Wednesday. Voting continues online and from enabled mobile devices through Dec. 17.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (534,020) followed Manning. Rounding out the top 10 overall were Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (519,261), Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (485,196), Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (484,227), Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (406,780), Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (399,885), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (376,530), Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (369,467) and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (352,611).
The game will be played Jan. 27 in Honolulu.
---Cleveland rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden received clearance to practice this week and will be on the field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's game against Oakland, coach Pat Shurmur announced.
Weeden suffered a concussion late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over Pittsburgh when his head hit Browns tackle Joe Thomas' leg while he was being tackled. Colt McCoy finished the game in mop-up duty at quarterback.
--New York Jets coach Rex Ryan expects Tim Tebow to be cleared to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Ryan told reporters on Wednesday.
That does not necessarily mean Tebow will play, however.
Tebow was uniform for last Thursday's loss the New England Patriots even though Tebow had cracked ribs, and Ryan received criticism for that.
The Jets also signed wide receiver Mardy Gilyard to the active roster and signed wide receiver Eddie McGee and offensive tackle Dennis Landolt to the practice squad.
---Washington Redskins offensive tackle Jammal Brown will remain on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a hip injury.
The 6-foot-6, 317-pound Brown was sidelined Aug. 27 with the injury but was cleared to return to practice on Nov. 6.
The Redskins also announced that linebacker Darryl Gamble was released from their practice squad, which he joined Sept. 2 after one season with the San Diego Chargers.
---Cincinnati Bengals center Kyle Cook returned to practice Wednesday under a roster exemption.
Cook (ankle) is on injured reserve, but new NFL rules that designate a three-week window during which players may practice without counting against the 53-man active roster limit. The Bengals have the option of adding him to the roster during that period.
---Jerramy Stevens, a former Seattle Seahawks tight end and new husband of soccer star Hope Solo, was arrested Wednesday in Florida on a probation violation.
Stevens reportedly had traveled to Florida after he married Solo on the same day he was arrested in Kirkland, Wash., as part of an alleged domestic violence incident on Nov. 13. He was not charged, but the arrest was a violation of his Florida probation while he was out of state.
According to information from the Hillsborough (Fla.) County Sheriff's Office, Stevens was arrested at his Florida home and booked an hour later. His probation was for marijuana possession.