San Francisco 49ers  

 

Colin Kaepernick to start preseason finale for Niners

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly said quarterback Colin Kaepernick will start Thursday's preseason finale at San Diego. Blaine Gabbert will not play.

Though Gabbert not playing would seemingly signal that he has won the starting job, Kelly said Gabbert had 30 more game reps than Kaepernick -- Kap did not play the first two preseason games because of shoulder soreness -- and Kelly wants to try to balance the overall playing time before announcing a starter.

"We've got a good understanding of where Blaine is," Kelly said, "and unfortunately because of Colin's injury and missing those first two preseason games, he's only got 13 snaps so we've got to move forward and see if we can get him some more snaps."

Kelly also said that Kaepernick is one his team's two best quarterbacks, which would indicate that Kaepernick will make the final 53-man roster. However, Kaepernick is not guaranteed a spot yet, and Kelly reiterated that he does not have final say over the roster, which belongs to general manager Trent Baalke

Kelly said that he would name a starter "after" Thursday's game after the final roster decisions. He would not specify exactly how soon after the game -- not that night -- but it could come a by the end of the weekend.

Kelly also discussed the players-only meeting Sunday following Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States. Several players spoke during Sunday's meeting, including Kaepernick.

"The feedback I got from our players, I thought it went well," Kelly said. "It's obviously their locker room in how this issue has gone on for the locker room and how they existed and from the feedback I got from the players, I thought it went well."

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