Singletary playing familiar tune with The Smiths

Given the circumstances, 49ers coach Mike Singletary said quarterback Alex Smith “handled himself about as well he could” in a 34-7 loss to the Chargers on Thursday night.

Even so, Singletary said he considered benching Smith during the game. And today he reiterated what he said after the loss: He hasn’t made a decision on whether Alex Smith or Troy Smith will start at St. Louis on Dec. 26.

Just think if Alex Smith, who was sacked six times, hadn’t comported himself with such distinction against San Diego. Would he be Nate Davis’ understudy next week?

“We’re looking at film,” Singletary said of the quarterback decision, “and we’ll handle it down the road.”

Is it possible that Singletary is waiting to see what happens Sunday before naming a starter?

The Niners visit to St. Louis could be a must-win game. Or it might be completely meaningless.

If the Rams (vs. Kansas City) and the Seahawks (vs. Atlanta) both win
Sunday, San Francisco will be eliminated from playoff contention. If one
of those teams loses, however, the Niners (5-9) will remain alive in
their quest to become The World’s First 7-9 NFL Team to Make the

If the St. Louis game is meaningless, would Singletary be more inclined
to start Troy Smith to see if the fourth-year quarterback fits into the
team’s long-term plans (and, yes, I understand that Singletary’s own
future is, putting it charitably, cloudy)? Conversely, if the Niners are
alive, would he stay with Alex Smith?

Given the uneven performance of both quarterbacks, here’s another question: Will it matter?

• The locker room was open to the media for about an hour today, but
only a handful of players were present. And many of those who hadn’t
already left the team’s facility weren’t in a chatty mood less than 24
hours after a 27-point loss.

LB Travis LaBoy, LG Mike Iupati, DT Isaac Sopoaga, CB Will James and LB Takeo Spikes declined interview requests.

“I ain’t talking today,” Spikes said. “Everything I had to say I said yesterday.”

• LaBoy was wearing a brace after being sidelined with sprained knee
against San Diego. RB Anthony Dixon had an ankle sprain, but limped
through the latter stages of the game.

S Dashon Goldson (dislocated finger), LB Manny Lawson (thigh contusion) and CB Nate Clements (ankle) all remained in the game.

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