SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at St. Louis.
Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement Wednesday that Kaepernick would go over Alex Smith after the second-year pro led the NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) to victories in the past two games, his first two NFL starts.
He said, “Colin, we believe, has the hot hand.”
Kaepernick has completed 48 of 74 passes for 680 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and has been sacked six times. He has a 102.3 passer rating.
• Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion and likely will start Sunday in Oakland. Weeden was injured in the final minutes of Sunday's 20-14 win over the Steelers.
• The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin off waivers from Philadelphia. The Jaguars will pay the remaining $1.69 million of Babin's 2012 salary.
• Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $30,000 by the NFL on Wednesday but said he didn't kick Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on purpose. Also, Lions wide receiver Titus Young returned to the team, practicing for the first time since the Lions told him to stay away because of “unacceptable” behavior during a loss to Green Bay.
• Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has been fined $21,000 for a hit on Chicago Bears guardLance Louis on Sunday that knocked Louis out for the season.
• Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson returned to practice for the Oakland Raiders for the first time since missing three games with sprained right ankles.
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