The 49ers quarterback competition is no clearer after the team’s preseason opener, in large part because Colin Kaepernick did not play. In fact, he hasn’t thrown a football at practice in almost a week.
Now ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports sources are saying Kaepernick is dealing with “a dead arm,” and while the team hopes to have him back soon, every day the sixth-year veteran misses lessens his chances of being named the opening-day starter.
Kapenerick was expected to play in the 49ers’ first preseason game on Sunday, but wound up being held out due to shoulder soreness. The 28-year-old is attempting to come back from a torn labrum that ended his 2015 campaign and kept him on the shelf for much of the offseason.
Dead arm is not uncommon in pitchers or even quarterbacks and typically just requires treatment. How long the timetable is depends on severity.
All we know right now is the longer soreness keeps Kaepernick off the field, the fewer reps he gets in 49ers head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, and the more distance Blaine Gabbert can create in the race for the starting job. On Sunday, Gabbert completed four of 10 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
It’s a shame, because despite the rift between Kaepernick and 49ers management, Kelly’s system seemingly is designed for the 2011 second-round draft pick to thrive. He’s had his ups and downs in the NFL, but San Francisco might represent Kaepernick’s best chance to recapture success.
Kelly insists Gabbert doesn’t have a leg up in the competition based on one game. f course, if Kaepernick doesn’t get back on the field soon, there won’t be much of a competition at all.