49ers QB Situation: So, About That Backup

Now that the 49ers appear to have taken care of business and locked up Alex Smith for the next three years, the big question at the quarterback position is the backup QB. Colin Kaepernick was the primary backup in 2011, with Scott Tolzien inactive as the third string quarterback. The 49ers likely figured either Alex Smith could stay healthy or Colin Kaepernick could learn on the fly if needed.

Prior to the news that Smith reportedly re-signed, news came out that the 49ers had contacted Josh Johnson and might bring him in for a workout this week. The tweets since the Alex news have mentioned Johnson heading to Washington this Wednesday for a workout, but no longer mention the 49ers.

The 49ers could be perfectly satisfied with Smith, Kaepernick and Tolzien (and likely an undrafted free agent) heading into training camp. On the other hand, Josh Johnson could still provide some needed competition as the backup QB. If the 49ers are confident in Kaepernick as a backup, I guess there is not much to be said about it.

For now though, there is always the concern of injury knocking Smith out. The offensive line had question marks in 2011 that led to some big hits on Alex. Ideally the line will take a sizable step forward in pass protection in 2012, but until then, I can't help but be a little bit nervous about the backup plan if Alex Smith gets hurt in 2012. Can the 49ers really be that confident in Colin Kaepernick heading into his second year? That's not to say they will be wrong, but it strikes me as a bit of a leap of faith.

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