After his team lost to the Cardinals last Thursday, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said that the team would look at everything in hopes of improving their performance in the future.
For the first time, that included the quarterback position. Kelly had followed previous losses by saying that he was sticking with Blaine Gabbert, but the message was different this time and he said on KNBR Monday morning that a choice still hasn’t been made about what to do at the position.
Kelly said the coaching staff would discuss it on Monday and added that Colin Kaepernick’s contract won’t be a consideration in the discussion. There was a report last week that the 49ers were discussing a contract adjustment with Kaepernick to remove a injury guarantee on his $14.5 million salary for next season, presumably because they were thinking about playing him instead of Gabbert.
“If I was ever told to not put him in a game, that conspiracy theory should be done, because he’s been in a game,” Kelly said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve never been told or implied on who to play or not to play. If I was told not to play him, then why did he play? Whether it’s garbage time or not, you’re still susceptible to injury.”
Kaepernick played in the season opener and has been the No. 2 each week of the season, leaving him one snap away from playing if Gabbert were to get hurt. Christian Ponder is also on the roster, so the team likely would have made Kaepernick the No. 3 if there was an overriding fear of what an injury could mean to their roster and cap next season.
That doesn’t mean he’ll be starting in Buffalo in Week Six, but it would seem to make the possibility a real one as the 49ers put together their plan for the week.