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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith threw a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-24 tie against the Rams while playing with blurred vision before coming out with a concussion.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Smith connected with Michael Crabtree six plays after he began experiencing blurred vision on a 1-yard keeper early in the second quarter. Earlier, he had taken a vicious hit from St. Louis linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
Smith, a former Utah Ute, scrambled to his left and started to slide before turning when Dunbar got him in the back of the neck with 1:10 left in the first quarter. He briefly grabbed his face mask and grimaced but stayed in the game.
"He said he had the blurred vision after the quarterback sneak," Harbaugh said. "There's no telling. Did that earlier hit contribute? I don't know. I don't know Alex knows for sure, either."
Second-year backup Colin Kaepernick entered for the next offensive series.
Harbaugh expressed concern at the thought the 28-year-old Smith played through some concussion symptoms.
"Yeah, that's something, you don't want him out there with blurred vision," Harbaugh said. "We talked about it. What he expressed was he came up from the sneak and he had blurred vision and he felt that it would go away. He came over to the sideline and sat down and felt it would go away and it didn't."
Harbaugh said the QB improved overnight and would see a neurologist later Monday. His status is unclear for next Monday night's game against the Bears.
Refs missed call
The NFL said the 76-yard punt return by Denver's Trindon Holliday against Carolina on Sunday should have been ruled a touchback, not a touchdown.
In the second quarter of Denver's 36-14 win, the Broncos' 5-foot-5 returner raced up the sidelines and appeared to score. Replays showed Holliday prematurely celebrating the TD by flipping the ball out of his hands before crossing the goal line. Replay official Bob Boylston confirmed the TD and, as a result, referee Alberto Riveron did not stop the game for a review.