Health questions continued to surround the San Francisco 49ers as they prepare for the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football.” Days after monitoring the health of quarterback Alex Smith who’s coming off a concussion suffered against the St. Louis Rams, it was announced by the team that head coach Jim Harbaugh had undergone a minor procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
In his place, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely led the 49ers through practices and meetings on Thursday. Many players said they expected Harbaugh to return to the team’s training facility as early as Friday. However, a report from ESPN’s Ed Werder said San Francisco’s coach had been back to work as soon as the second half of Thursday’s practice.
It’s not known if Harbaugh has returned to 49ers headquarters officially. The team is scheduled for practice and media availability today, stay tuned for more updates on 49ers.com and @49ers on Twitter.
9:20 A.M. UPDATE
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports Harbaugh has returned to the 49ers facility and will address the media at noon.
Matt Maiocco writes that Alex Smith was limited in practice and is expected to start Monday night.
ESPN.com’s Mike Sando takes a look at San Francisco’s chances of winning the Super Bowl. Sando: “The 49ers remain the team to beat in this division. We all saw how close they came to the Super Bowl last season. They might own the best offensive line in the NFL. They’ve added weapons to address the third-down issues that factored heavily into their troubles against the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game. For stretches, they have played like the best team in the NFL.”
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee passes along the comments from Bears linebacker Lance Briggs on the whether the 49ers or Bears have the best inside linebackers in the NFL.
SI.com’s Peter King picks the 49ers to beat the Bears on Monday. King: “I like Colin Kaepernick more than Jason Campbell at this stage of their careers, mainly because Kaepernick has had much more experience piloting the Niners’ offense over the past two years than Campbell has had in Chicago this year — his only one behind Jay Cutler. Starter alert, however: If Alex Smith plays and Cutler doesn’t (both suffered Week 10 concussions), or vice versa, I like the team with the starter.”
NFL Films offers a video preview of Monday’s 49ers-Bears contest.
49ers.com shared Patrick Willis’ comments on Monday’s opportunity to face a talented Chicago team, as well as David Akers’ thoughts on his overtime miss against the St. Louis Rams. In addition, the comments of Briggs and Bears coach Lovie Smith were posted, plus the latest Cover 2 video preview presented by AAA.
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Tags: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, David Akers, Eric Davis, Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis
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