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49ers QB controversy: Donte Whitner states Colin Kaepernick to start Sunday

As if the 49ers quarterback situation/controversy/decision/whatever had not grown any more bizarre, we now have non-coaches providing some details. 49ers safety Donte Whitner appeared on the Dan Patrick Show this morning and told PFT's Mike Florio that Colin Kaepernick is the starter for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

he expects Harbaugh to announce a starter before the team travels to New Orleans on Friday afternoon. This is not shocking news, but given how the coaching staff has tried to keep things relatively hush-hush, I'd be interested to hear what Harbaugh has had to say to the team and what he will have to say at practice later today. The coaching staff has said no decision had been made before yesterday, but I think most people figure a decision has been made but they want to keep the Saints coaches and players guessing.

This all comes as Matt Maiocco is reporting Alex Smith has still not received final medical clearance, and may not get it until the team gets to New Orleans. Thursday afternoon, ESPN was reporting he had received final clearance, but that would appear to be contradicted by this report.

At this point, I really think the only surprise would be if Alex Smith ended up getting the start on Sunday. It was a bit of a surprise this past Monday when word got out that Kaepernick would get the start. I imagine the Saints have spent much of the week focusing on Kaepernick. They likely studied Smith some as well, but I have to think they focused on the more unknown factor in this.

I won't say things are a mess, since Coach Harbaugh likely feels in control of the situation. But it's certainly a bizarre situation. Coach Harbaugh is meeting the media at 1:45pm, shortly before the team departs for New Orleans. According to MM, Vernon Davis said he expects Harbaugh to name a starter by Friday afternoon before the team leaves for New Orleans. Maybe that already happened. Or I suppose, maybe not.