After Colin Kaepernick’s anti-American protests during the playing of the national anthem, the San Francisco 49ers opt to give him a shot as the starter in a Week Six road game against the Buffalo Bills.
Head coach Chip Kelly called a press conference on October 11 to make the announcement amid a four-game losing streak. The team’s anemic offense and 1-4 record necessitated the change.
“We’re going to make a move at quarterback, and we’re going to start Colin this week,” Coach Kelly said according to 49ers.com. “[We’re] going to give him an opportunity to run with the ones. I believe you’ve got to do it at the beginning of the week just because of how reps are distributed.”
Kelly insisted the move was “a football decision” and had nothing to do with Kaepernick’s current contract negotiations.
Late in September the coach insisted that Kaepernick has been rebounding satisfactorily from his recent injuries and even said the QB’s underweight condition as a result of his newly adopted vegan diet was being addressed. But until this week Kelly had also warned that Kaepernick was not quite ready to “go full time.”
However, after losing his fourth game in a row, Kelly decided to implement a shake up knocking former starter, Blaine Gabbert, down to back up. So far this year Gabbert’s completed pass ratio stands at 58 percent for a total of 890 yards. He has successfully completed five touchdowns but had six interceptions in his five starts this year. Gabbert had two scores on the ground and added 172 rushing yards, as well.
For his part, Kaepernick has had far less recent game time this season, having three hand offs in Week 1 and a season record of 11 completed passes out of 18 for 103 yards. He also has 38 rushing yards on his four carries.
Coach Kelly confirmed that Christian Ponder will remain the No. 3 QB.
Still, thus far this season, Kaepernick has made far more news for his stand against America than his playing. Along with his continued anti-American protests consisting of taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, Kaepernick made other recent news when he said the United States was never great.
“He always says, ‘Make America great again,'” Kaepernick said of Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. “Well, America has never been great for people of color and that’s something that needs to be addressed. Let’s make America great for the first time.”
As the 49ers number seven has continued his protests they have spread across the NFL causing what some have called “the Kaepernick effect” by driving NFL ratings into the gutter and costing both the NFL and Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN millions in lost ad revenue as fans tune out in droves.
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