Kaepernick makes his way onto field in key moments

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm •  Published: October 2, 2012
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Harbaugh said Smith and Kaepernick both rep the option plays in practice but it's clear Kaepernick is more dangerous than Smith with his feet.

With the game out of hand in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick came back for some mop-up duty, but still found a way to make a positive impression on his coaches. It appeared his job would be to hand off to Anthony Dixon and let the time wind down, but on third and 4 following the two-minute warning, Kaepernick took a bootleg 30 yards and, despite a clear path to the end zone, slid at the 3-yard line.

It wasn't a decision based on sportsmanship, it was a conscious decision to end the game. Two kneel downs followed and the 49ers moved to 3-1.

"That's one less kickoff we have to cover," Kaepernick said. "That's one less time we have to go out on defense. We can end the game with no more collisions or chance of injury."

Harbaugh said the situation had been discussed before the play, but understood how it could have been a difficult play to make considering the nature of the game.

"When you're out there running in the open field and the end zone's there right in front of you, that's still up to the man," Harbaugh said.

How Roman and Harbaugh allow Kaepernick's role to evolve remains to be seen, but the potential has teammates and fans excited.

"I'm sure Greg Roman will continue to put him in and do some things with him," Davis said. "He'll have his own little package, whatever he can do to help the team win."

NOTES: RB Brandon Jacobs (knee) could potentially make his season debut Sunday at home against Buffalo. "I'm ready to play," Jacobs said. Jacobs injured his knee in the second preseason game and had been out of practice until last week, when he was a limited participant. . WR Ted Ginn Jr. (ankle) made his season debut against the Jets and returned four punts for 40 yards.

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