The San Francisco 49ers are prepared to engage in a full-fledged quarterback competition with Blaine Gabbert taking on Colin Kaepernick for the right to start in Chip Kelly’s first season as the team’s head coach.
That sounds like a mighty fine plan, as both could very well find a way to succeed in Kelly’s quarterback-friendly offense.
That’s also not necessarily coming to fruition at this point in the summer.
After undergoing multiple off-season surgeries, including procedures on his shoulder and knee, Colin Kaepernick has not participated in on-field drills during off-season activities.
While Kaepernick is working out with the team and still slated to receive a $400,000 bonus for doing so, he’s yet to take part in offensive drills during these activities.
In his first Q&A as the team’s offensive coordinator, Curtis Modkins didn’t sound too optimistic about a quick return from injury for Kaepernick.
“I think what’s important he gets cleared when he’s healthy,” Modkins said, via CSN Bay Area. “There’s no timetable.”
That’s a bit troublesome, especially considering Kelly would love to get Kaepernick reps during his first summer as the team’s head coach. Short of that happening, the former Super Bowl quarterback will be placed behind the proverbial eight-ball in his competition with Gabbert for the starting gig.
Coming off a spring that was filled with trade demands and rumors of him being dealt from San Francisco, Kaepernick is currently at a crossroads in his career.
He struggled a great deal with both injury and performance last season, and is no longer seen as the quarterback of the future.
Meanwhile, Kelly himself has no built-in relationship with the embattled signal caller. That’s something we definitely have to take into account.
None of this will matter if Kaepernick can’t return to the field and prove his worth to this new coaching staff.
Until that happens, Gabbert has the upper-hand in what is currently a non-existent battle.