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Kaepernick will start for 49ers

Colin Kaepernick has earned himself a third straight start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement Wednesday that Kaepernick would go Sunday at St. Louis after the second-year pro led the NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) to victories in the past two games, his first two NFL starts.

“The rationale is we have two quarterbacks that we feel great about as a starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “Both have earned it, both deserve it. … Colin we believe has the hot hand. We’ll go with Colin. And we’ll go with Alex. They’re both our guys.”

Yes, Harbaugh is still leaving open every possibility, saying it still could be a week-to-week decision. All Kaepernick knows is he will begin Sunday’s game under center.

Kaepernick has completed 48 of 74 passes for 680 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and was sacked six times.

Quick kicks

The Packers (7-4) are hoping the return of two-time Pro Bowl WR Greg Jennings, who has missed the last seven games, will revive a disappointing passing game. They meet the Vikings (6-5) on Sunday. … Arizona C Lyle Sendlein is out for the season with a torn left MCL, the latest in a series of injuries to significant players for the Cardinals (4-7) that have figured greatly in the team’s losing streak — now at seven games. … The Jaguars (2-9) have claimed two-time Pro Bowl DE Jason Babin off waivers from Philadelphia. Jacksonville has a league-low 13 sacks, a glaring weakness on a team filled with holes. … Vikings (6-5) D E Jared Allen has been fined $21,000 for a hit on Bears OG Lance Louis on Sunday. Allen’s hit knocked Louis out for the season with an injured left knee. … RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson have returned to practice for the Raiders (3-8) for the first time since missing three games with sprained right ankles. … QB Brandon Weeden has been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion and will likely start for the Browns (3-8) Sunday in Oakland.