Super Bowl week hasn’t been the easiest of times on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. He continually has been asked about his benching in favor of Colin Kaepernick.
The switch happened after Smith, who was the NFL’s highest-rated passer at the time of his replacement, suffered a concussion midway through the season. Then he and the team’s trainers agreed he wasn’t able to return to the field.
Smith has been both praised and criticized for owning up to his concussion symptoms, but on Friday, he found an ally in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the State of the NFL address. Goodell said he appreciated Smith’s honesty in reporting his concussion.
“I understand somewhat the dilemma, but the highest priority … is for players to raise their hand when they’re injured so they can get the proper treatment,” Goodell said, via The Sacramento Bee, during his annual Super Bowl news conference.
As for Smith’s benching, Goodell said that was a football issue, not a medical issue.
“The coaches made a decision to go in another direction,” he said. “And that’s something the coaches have to do.”
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor