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49ers Smith Uncertain for Monday, Roethlisberger Likely Out for Three Weeks

On Friday, the Chicago Bears announced that quarterback Jay Cutler was out for Monday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The opposing team still held out hope its quarterback Alex Smith, also suffering from a concussion, could take the field.

After practicing on Saturday, Smith remains uncertain. He is still waiting for clearance to play by doctors by passing an impact test and the team may not hear anything until Monday–just a few hours prior to the game.

49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said on Saturday via AP, “Alex is still going through the protocol right now. And that’s in the doctor’s hands. When we know, you will probably know.”

Should Smith not take the field, look for backup quarterback quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take over in his first career start. Last week when he went in for Smith, he was 11 for 17 for 117 yards while running eight times for 66 yards and a score.

Rushing against the Bears may be tough as they sit at No. 5 in the league and only allow 92.3 yards each game.

Kaepernick prepared this week like he usually does, adding to ESPN, “Same reps as always. Nothing really changes. I’ve always been out there preparing myself to start.”

Meanwhile, one quarterback that won’t be returning for some time after his injury last week is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Citing an unnamed source, ESPN reported on Sunday that the quarterback could return for the team’s Dec. 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

While doctors think Big Ben could miss three weeks, the team is still optimistic it will only be a two-week absence. There has been concern about the player’s rib hitting his aorta but there’s also worries about the arteries, vessels and soft tissue being endangered.

As of Friday, reports had Roethlisberger still suffering from a lot of pain.

He has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens and is likely to miss next week’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

In his place, vetearn Byron Leftwich gets the starting nod which he hasn’t done since 2009.

As a starter, the quarterback is 0-6 and after entering the game last week for the injured Roethlisberger, he admitted he was a little rusty; he went 7 for 14 and 73 yards.

But this week, it’s been business as usual. Leftwich said via ESPN, “I try to prepare as if I am the starter every week. Nothing will change. I wish Ben the best. I hope he is healthy. Other than that I will be ready to go.”

In other Steelers news for Sunday, running back Rashard Mendenhall will be back and will start.

 

 

 

Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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