Alex Smiths returns for no-contact practice after concussion

11/14/12 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

In a week that ultimately proved dangerous for NFL quarterbacks, Alex Smith showed signs for the beginning of a remarkable recovery by joining the San Francisco 49ers for non-contact practice just days after sustaining a concussion.
With 11:28 remaining in the first half, Alex Smith took the hit that resulted in the concussion on the fourth-and-1 conversion dive to the St. Louis Rams’ 47-yard line. Although he was initially cleared to return to the game, Alex Smith didn’t start feeling signs of the concussions until six plays later.
"He had no symptoms after that hit. He was cleared to play," said San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, noting that team doctors made a 10 minute evaluation of Alex Smith’s condition and were ”very proactive.”
Subsequently, Alex Smith threw a 14-yard pass for touchdown to San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree third-and-7 down with first sign affects (blurring vision) starting to appear.
"He felt it would go away," Jim Harbaugh said about Alex Smith’s blurring vision issues. "He came to the sideline, sat down, felt it would go away and it didn't."
Meanwhile San Francisco 49ers second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick filled in for Alex Smith, earning the most extensive play time of his career in the 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Although Colin Kaepernick started off slow, completing just 2 of the first seven passes, he quickly picked up pace, with total 9 of 10 passes completed and 17 points contributed in the fourth-quarter.
"Kap did a very good job," Jim Harbaugh stated after the game. "He came in, good focus, good demeanor, made plays, and I thought he handled himself pretty well."
It appears that starting quarterback Alex Smith’s appointment with the independent neurologist went well on Monday since he was present on practice field, donning a black no contact Jersey after sustaining the concussion on Sunday.
"He's doing much better, had a good night sleep and his symptoms were positive today,” Jim Harbaugh said on Monday after Alex Smith undertook a baseline measures exam to compare with offseason tests.
The 28-year-old Alex smith previously sustained a concussion in last season’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but quickly bounced back to his feet without missing game action in the following days. Alex Smith has 28 career starts with the San Francisco 49ers, including the 2010 finale and two playoffs games last season.
Alex Smith’s status remains uncertain for Monday’s play-offs impacting home game against the 7-2, Chicago Bears.
However, the Chicago Bears have their own injury issues regarding key player after starting quarterback Jay Cutler sustained a concussion late in the first half of the 13-6 home loss to Houston Texans. Wight-year quarterback Jason Campbell played in Jay Culter’s absence, completing 11 of 19 passes for 94 yards following halftime.
"The football world will be watching this one,” said Jim Harbaugh about net Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. “I feel our team will respond well. We did last game, with a lot of fight and no quit by anyone."
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