After watching Blaine Gabbert mess the bed for the fourth game in a row, San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is finally ready to consider a change. Though he would not make any commitment to Colin Kaepernick, the coach is now open to the possibility.
Speaking with reporters Thursday night after the team’s 33-21 loss at home to the Arizona Cardinals, Kelly said all options are on the table.
“I don’t think anybody played well on offense,” Kelly said when asked specifically about Gabbert, who missed open receivers and threw two punishing interceptions. “Nobody did.
“I think we’re going to look at everything,” Kelly said, per the Mercury News. “I mean, we’re 1-4, we’ve got to make sure that we’re going out there and giving us the best chance to win, so we’re going to look at everything.”
While Kelly didn’t come out and directly say, “Kaepernick will start,” it’s clear he’s considering the switch.
Through five games, Gabbert has been among the NFL’s worst quarterbacks. After tallying just 162 yards on 18-of-31 passes with one touchdown and two interceptions, his yearly totals are atrocious: 890 yards (178 yards per game) on 87-of-150 passing (58 percent) with five touchdowns and six interceptions.
These totals are very similar to those of Kaepernick’s last year before he was benched in favor of Gabbert.
Clearly, it’s time to see what Kap has to offer. He has said he’s fully healthy and mentally ready to rock and roll after three surgeries sidelined him throughout the spring and summer (more on that here).
Kelly has said consistently that Kaepernick is the No. 2 because he’s not 100 percent healthy. That said, if he truly was not healthy enough to play, then it would be Christian Ponder behind Gabbert on game days instead of Kap.
There are no more excuses available to Kelly. He must start Kaepernick, who can do no worse than what we’ve seen from Gabbert through five games.