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Originally published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:16 PM

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Kaepernick 49ers starter

Colin Kaepernick will make his third straight appearance as the 49ers' starting quarterback Sunday, and he has grand designs on where this...

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It's difficult to know what the future of the dueling QBs in SF will mean beyond more... MORE
glad there are a few more weeks before the seahawks see the 49'rs again. Give them a... MORE
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Colin Kaepernick will make his third straight appearance as the 49ers' starting quarterback Sunday, and he has grand designs on where this job promotion could take him.

"It's a great chance to lead this team and show we're a great team that can go into the playoffs and win games," Kaepernick said Wednesday.

Rather than drag on QB Watch 2012 as he did with last week's drama, coach Jim Harbaugh announced that Kaepernick's hot hand "tipped the scales" in his favor to start Sunday's game at the St. Louis Rams.

Kaepernick assumed that role Nov. 11 when incumbent starter Alex Smith suffered a second-quarter concussion in a 24-24 tie with the Rams at Candlestick Park.

"I don't know if it's a hot hand or whatever you want to call it," Kaepernick said, "but I'm just happy I get to go back out there."

Kaepernick won his first two career starts with an assortment of big plays that energized a passing attack for the 49ers (8-2-1), in first place in the NFC West.

Harbaugh said not to assume that this is a locked-in promotion for the rest of the season, adding: "I would assume nothing."


Lyle Sendlein, the Arizona Cardinals' ironman center, is out for the season with a torn left MCL.

• The San Diego Chargers claimed wide receiver and kick returner Michael Spurlock off waivers from Jacksonville and waived running back Curtis Brinkley.

• The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin off waivers from Philadelphia and placed defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith (concussion) on injured reserve.

• Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was cleared to practice, three days after suffering the first concussion of his career.

• The slumping Oakland Raiders got a jolt when running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson returned to practice for the first time since missing three games with sprained right ankles.

• Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $30,000 for unnecessary roughness because he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area. The previous day, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn't suspend Suh because it couldn't reach a judgment on his intent.

Jared Allen's hit on Lance Louis knocked the Chicago Bears guard out for the rest of the season and earned the Minnesota Vikings defensive end plenty of scorn from his division rivals. It also earned him a $21,000 fine.

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