Colin Kaepernick will not play again this season. And may not ever again play for San Francisco.
The 49ers announced today that Kaepernick has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. That means Blaine Gabbert is the starter the rest of the way, and he’ll be backed up by Dylan Thompson, who was called up from the 49ers’ practice squad.
It’s a stunning end for Kaepernick, who just a couple years ago was widely regarded as not just a franchise quarterback but perhaps a player who could redefine the quarterback position in the NFL. This year he was so ineffective that the 49ers benched him, and now they’ve shut him down for the year.
The injury is to Kaepernick’s non-throwing shoulder and is not believed to be serious enough to prevent him from passing a physical next year. The 49ers are off the hook from having to pay Kaepernick anything beyond this season if they cut him, as long as he’s healthy enough to pass a physical.
One of the major offseason stories next year will be whether the 49ers can find a new franchise quarterback, and whether Kaepernick can find some team that can turn him into a star again.