SANTA CLARA -- Offensive coordinator Greg Roman repeatedly said Thursday that "no decision has been made" on who will start at quarterback for the 49ers on Sunday in New Orleans.

That stands in contrast to a Sports Illustrated report Wednesday that Colin Kaepernick would start a second consecutive game in place of Alex Smith. Smith missed Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears because of a concussion suffered Nov. 11, but Sports Illustrated reported that health was no factor in coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to go with Kaepernick against the Saints.

As has been the case at every practice since his concussion, Smith participated Thursday in a black, non-contact jersey. ESPN reported before practice that Smith already had received medical clearance to play Sunday. But Roman said Smith will undergo testing Friday to see if he is medically cleared.

"We're hoping Alex gets cleared tomorrow physically," Roman said. "We have confidence in both quarterbacks. We'll weigh all the information."

Harbaugh did not address the media Thursday, other than an off-the-record encounter in the locker room about replay rules. Harbaugh is scheduled to hold a news conference Friday.

Tight end Vernon Davis expects Harbaugh to inform the team Friday of which quarterback will start against the Saints.

"It's his decision, and I'll support whatever decision," Davis said. "Whatever he decides to do, I'm sure it'll work out in our favor."

Davis said even though he and other players were consulted on the quarterback matter, "at the end of the day, it's not our decision."


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Neither Kaepernick nor Smith was available for interviews Thursday as many players quickly headed for Thanksgiving dinners after practice ended at 1 p.m.

Both quarterbacks shared practice time with the starting unit Thursday, according to Roman, who added: "It's more play by play, than first-team reps vs. second-team reps." According to ESPN analyst and former 49ers teammate Trent Dilfer, Smith was told by Harbaugh that Kaepernick will get the first-team snaps this week.

Davis said he is confident in either quarterback and that both looked good in practice. Davis caught Kaepernick's first career touchdown pass to help spark Monday's 32-7 rout of the Bears.

"Colin, he's a leader," Davis said. "He's been under Alex's wing and has had a chance to learn and figure out this game. He's gotten so much better, it's like night and day.

"Both guys want to succeed, and they'll do anything to get there."

Dating to halftime of a victory over Seattle on Oct. 18, Smith has completed 32 of his past 35 attempts for 385 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for a 140.2 passer rating.

One of four team captains, Smith has completed a league-leading 70 percent of his passes, and he ranks third in passer rating (104.1) and yards per attempt (7.98). But he also ranks 31st with 217 pass attempts and 29th in yards passing (1,731).

The last time the 49ers faced the Saints, Smith sparked a 36-32 victory in last season's divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. After running 28 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 2:11 left, Smith again had to rally the 49ers, and he delivered a winning touchdown pass to Davis with nine seconds remaining.

Kaepernick made sure not to take too much credit for Monday night's dominance, instead crediting his offensive line, receivers and "great" defense.

"So, they made it easy on me to go out there," Kaepernick said Wednesday.

When asked if he had anything to say about the 49ers' quarterback situation, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio quipped with a wry smile: "Why? What's up with it?"

  • Roman doesn't think there is any resentment among the 49ers offensive players in regards to a speech former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gave before last season's playoff meeting. Williams singled out several players as potential injury targets.

    "It's past. It's irrelevant," Roman said. "Our players are focused on 2012 and how important this game is to our season."

  • Asked about Cal's opening for a coach, Roman said he hasn't been contacted about it.

    "Anything that would distract me from the task at hand with the 49ers would not be appropriate," said Roman, who has drawn past consideration for openings at Penn State, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh and Stanford.

  • Smith, safety Dashon Goldson (ribs, calf) and cornerbacks Tarell Brown (knee) and Chris Culliver (shoulder) were limited in practice.

  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in a league-record 53 consecutive games.

    For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.