Niners' Harbaugh undergoes follow-up evaluation on heart

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had an appointment Tuesday for a follow-up evaluation with doctors after undergoing a minor procedure last Thursday for an irregular heartbeat.

The 49ers canceled Harbaugh's scheduled media conference call minutes before it was to begin Tuesday afternoon, a day after San Francisco's 32-7 victory over the Chicago Bears, but gave no indication that there is anything of further concern with Harbaugh's health in addition to what he went through last week. The team released a schedule with Harbaugh set for his usual Wednesday news conference.

Harbaugh, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year who turns 49 next month, was candid about the "cardiovert" — or shocking of the heart to treat an irregular heartbeat — he had done at Stanford Hospital. He has had the condition for most of his life, he said.

Harbaugh was his typical energetic self on the sideline Monday night with the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1), who have a quick turnaround for Sunday's game at New Orleans in a rematch of the NFC divisional playoff game won 36-32 by San Francisco at Candlestick Park last January.

What was supposed to be an NFC showdown with the Bears quickly turned into a rout, with backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick leading the way on a night starter Alex Smith watched from the sideline recovering from a concussion.

Harbaugh — whose team improved to 5-1 in prime time and 3-0 on "Monday Night Football" since he took over before the 2011 season — could face a tough decision on who to start under center against the Saints.

Kaepernick went 16 for 23 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an impressive passer rating of 133.1 in his first NFL start. The second-year pro, a second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011, hardly seemed fazed by football's big stage. He directed scoring drives on the Niners' initial four possessions and completed 12 of his first 14 passes with a 57-yard throw to Kyle Williams that set up Vernon Davis' 3-yard TD on the next play.

Ravens

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed avoided a one-game suspension for late hits after an appeal. He instead will be fined $50,000.

Reed was suspended for one game without pay on Monday by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks for his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless players. The third violation occurred in Sunday night's game at Pittsburgh: Reed's hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Reed appealed the ruling in phone session Tuesday morning with NFL hearing officer Ted Cottrell. The NFL Players Association represented Reed, who also participated.


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