Colin Kaepernick is getting another shot as San Francisco’s starting quarterback and his first with new head coach Chip Kelly.
Kelly announced Tuesday that Kaepernick will start for the 49ers this weekend when they face the Buffalo Bills, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco.
“It’s not Blaine’s fault,” Kelly said, according to the San Francisco Gate’s Eric Branch. “It’s just as a group offensively we need to be better in a lot of ways. So we’re going to see what we can do and make a move here. It was one of the only maneuvers we could make based on our depth.”
Kaepernick hasn’t started a game since Nov. 11, 2015. He ultimately was benched last season for Blaine Gabbert, who is being replaced by Kaepernick this time around. Gabbert has struggled as San Francisco’s starter, as many expected. He’s thrown for 890 yards, 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions and has gone 1-4 in five starts.
Kaepernick has yet to throw a pass this season and has been talked about more for his controversial protest of the national anthem than his on-field performance. Kaepernick conceded the job to Gabbert in the preseason after missing time with a dead arm. Kaepernick went 2-6 in eight starts last season, throwing for only 1,615 yards, 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He will accrue a salary cap hit of more than $15 million this season.
It always felt like Kaepernick was the better-suited player for Kelly’s up-tempo offense. Kaepernick’s mobility also makes him a more enticing option. Plus, he’s only two years removed from a good 2014 season, during which he racked up 4,008 yards of total offense and 20 total touchdowns.
Kaepernick’s second chance will begin with a stiff test against a Bills defense that has allowed only 17.4 points per game this season.