Colin Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start in place of the injured Alex Smith, and the San Francisco 49ers whipped the Chicago Bears 32-7 on Monday night in a highly touted NFC showdown that hardly lived up to the hype. Kaepernick threw touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, and Kendall Hunter ran for a 14-yard TD as San Francisco (7-2-1) jumped out to a big lead by scoring on each of its first four possessions — with Aldon Smith wreaking havoc on the other side of the ball with 5½ sacks.
No official word from the Patriots yets but a person familiar with Rob Gronkowski's injury tells the AP that New England's prolific tight end expects to be sidelined for four to six weeks after having surgery for a broken left forearm. Gronkowski went to the locker room with the team physician late in Sunday's drubbing of the Colts after blocking on an extra point following the final touchdown of a 59-24 victory. The Pats and Jets play this Thanksgiving Thursday.
On the college gridiron the University of Miami is self-imposing a postseason ban for the second straight year in response to a lengthy and ongoing NCAA investigation into the school's compliance practices. School officials announced the decision shortly before the 6-5 Hurricanes took the field for their first practice for what now is their season-finale at Duke this weekend. By self-imposing another ban, Miami is hoping to lessen the hit of any looming sanctions that could be handed down by the NCAA. Miami's decision effectively ends the ACC's Coastal Division race; Georgia Tech will play Florida State for the ACC crown and an Orange Bowl berth.
In the NBA the Knicks play the Hornets tonight and the Nets play in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press