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Here is the opening to my Sunday column about Alex Smith:

SANTA CLARA

At 2:25 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Alex Smith had not been cleared to play Monday night against the Chicago Bears. I know this for a fact. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman conducted a news conference and said Smith had not been cleared.

Smith wore a black jersey during Saturday’s practice. Although the black jersey bears a feeling of doom, the black is merely symbolic. It means Smith’s teammates can’t whack him during drills, but players never can whack a quarterback in practice. So, the black jersey is redundant. While it may not be a negative symbol, neither is it positive. It indicates, “Injured, handle with care.” And it raises the question: Will Smith be ready to start Monday night?

FYI, Colin Kaepernick, the backup QB, wore a flaming red jersey, the full-speed-ahead, let’s-get-it-on jersey.

To read the full column click here.

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