The San Francisco 49ers aren’t expected to do very well this season, but Blaine Gabbert has been performing well below expectations. It’s been so bad from him that when Colin Kaepernick is healthy again, he’ll be getting his old job as starting quarterback.
Kaepernick has probably generated more headlines and discussions than any other athlete over the last month or so, but it has nothing to do with football. He hasn’t thrown a single pass or taken a single snap in the NFL season. Looking at the big picture, trying to bring attention to the mistreatment of African Americans in the United States is more important than football, regardless of what you think of his methods. But we’re about the sports, so we’ll stick to that.
Kaepernick isn’t 100% yet, according to Chip Kelly. He’s been talking since training camp that Kaepernick needs to bring himself back to satisfactory physical shape, in both weight and conditioning. Kaepernick lost a lot of weight due to surgeries limiting his ability to work out and build himself up again. From everything Kelly has said after the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Gabbert’s playing on borrowed time, and will be benched when Kaepernick is back to his old self, physically at least. “He is the No. 2 QB because he’s not at 100%“, according to Kelly.
It won’t be too surprising if Christian Ponder takes Gabbert’s place for a while too. Gabbert’s 68.6 passer rating through three games is 30th among qualified quarterbacks, basically almost the worst in the league. He has completed just 55.2% of his passes, throwing three touchdowns and three interceptions. Against the Seahawks (lost 37-18), Gabbert threw for just 119 yards (4.8 per attempt), tossing one interceptions and finishing with a 51.9 passer rating.
If you go back to last season, Kaepernick wasn’t just benched because of his injuries. He was terrible, but so were the 49ers in general. Kaepernick played in 9 games last season, completing 59% of his passes, throwing six touchdowns and five interceptions, posting just 78.5 as passer rating. He helped the 49ers reach two consecutive NFC title games in 2012 and 2013, including the Super Bowl in 2012, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.