We’re familiar with the etiquette of role reversal hereabouts, so we know how this delicate business works. The marquee quarterback gets hurt. His understudy comes in and wins a bunch of games. The marquee man returns but is handed a clipboard and cap and told to wait in the wings while the understudy stays in the spotlight.
So it was for Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady in 2001, and so it is now with the San Francisco 49ers as Alex Smith watches Colin Kaepernick perform the job that once was his but may never be again.