Skip to main content

49ers Announce Colin Kaepernick Will Start vs. Buffalo Bills

Chip Kelly made an unscheduled visit to the podium on Tuesday morning.

The head coach of the San Francisco 49ers announced that Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback in a Week 6 road game against the Buffalo Bills.

"We're going to make a move at quarterback, and we're going to start Colin this week," Kelly said. "(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."

View the top photos of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick from the 2016 season.

The coach said rumored contract discussions with Kaepernick had no impact on the move from Blaine Gabbert to Kaepernick as the team's starter.

"It's a football decision," Kelly said.

Gabbert completed 58 percent of his passes for 890 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions in five starts this season. He also added 172 rushing yards and two scores on the ground.

Kaepernick handed the ball off three times late in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. His last significant appearance on the field was in a Week 4 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers. Kaepernick was 11-of-18 passing for 103 yards with 38 rushing yards on four carries.

After losing a fourth consecutive game in Week 5, Kelly maintained that the coaching staff would evaluate the full roster over the weekend. The evaluation process was "very analytical," according to Kelly.

"We've had a couple of days to digest everything from where we are, and I think offensively we need to be better and just make a move," Kelly said. "It's not Blaine's fault. I think as a group, offensively, we need to be better in a lot of ways."

The 49ers coach said practice reps will change: Kaepernick will get the bulk of the first-team reps, and Gabbert will get some work with the first offense as the team's backup. Christian Ponder will remain the No. 3 signal-caller.

Kelly said Kaepernick has gotten physically stronger in the last six weeks and that he's ready to play.

According to Kelly, Kaepernick's response to the move was, "Let's go."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.