View photos from Levi's Stadium during the 49ers third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Colin Kaepernick will make his 2016 preseason debut Friday night as the San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers. The quarterback missed the team's first two exhibition contests with a fatigued right throwing shoulder.
Kaepernick's return to game action is a pivotal moment in his ongoing competition with Blaine Gabbert. A strong performance will help his case as Chip Kelly is yet to determine his Week 1 starter.
Through two preseason games, Gabbert has completed 10-of-19 pass attempts for 132 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
The team announced that Gabbert will start, but it us unknown how long either will play. If the coaching staff decides they want both quarterbacks to get snaps with the first-team offense, we could also see more from Torrey Smith and the starting offensive line.
San Francisco also shared that the following players will not play on Friday night: Bryce Treggs, Nick Bellore, Arik Armstead, Glenn Dorsey and DeAndre Smelter.
DeForest Buckner, who missed last week's game against the Denver Broncos, will start in place of Armstead.
Bellore and Treggs each suffered knee strains in Denver. Smelter, Dorsey and Armstead are all yet to play in the preseason.
Bruce Ellington is returning to action after missing last week's contest due to an ankle injury.
The Packers announced that Aaron Rodgers will make his 2016 preseason debut. Green Bay's star receiver Jordy Nelson, however, will not. Nelson missed the entire 2015 season with an ACL tear, but is expected to be back for Week 1. Rodgers had been held out of exhibition play prior to Friday night. The All-Pro quarterback will provide an invited challenge to the 49ers secondary.
Green Bay won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.
Anthony Davis got the start at right guard. Andrew Tiller had started the previous two games. Zane Beadles remained the starter at left guard.
The 49ers went three-and-out on the game's opening possession and missed an opportunity at a big play. Gabbert overthew Quinton Patton, who had separation on a post route deep downfield.
Defensively, NaVorro Bowman, Antoine Bethea and Ahmad Brooks joined the list of 49ers players who aren't playing against the Packers. Michael Wilhoite started for Bowman, Jaquiski Tartt started for
Bethea and Garrett Celek started in place of Brooks. Ray-Ray Armstrong got the nod at weak-side, inside linebacker.
Even with the change in personnel, the 49ers first-team defense was able to stop Aaron Rodgers and Co. on the Packers first drive.
San Francisco wasted no time marching down the field on their ensuing possession. A 9-yard keeper by Gabbert was followed by back-to-back passes to Garrett Celek to get the 49ers moving. Pierre Garçon followed with an impressive cut-back move to find open field. Hyde's 27-yard run set up 1st-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
The 49ers scored on the very next play.
Gabbert hit a wide open Patton on a swing pass to the right and the receiver waltzed into the end zone for the touchdown. Phil Dawson added the PAT to make it 7-0 49ers. (7:53)
Because the pass went backwards, the score counts as a 3-yard run for Patton.
Rodgers remained in for the Packers second series. Eddie Lacy powered Green Bay's offense downfield with the assistance of an untimely penalty on the 49ers for 12 men on the field. The running back ripped off 26 yards on two carries. Rodgers then hit Randall Cobb for a 15-yard gain.
The first quarter ended with James Starks converting on 4th-and-2 to set up 1st-and-goal from the 49ers 6-yard line.
Rodgers capitalized on the opportunity and thre a 6-yard touchdown pass to Cobb on the first play of the quarter. (14:56)
Colin Kaepernick entered the game on the 49ers third possession. Joshua Garnett also joined the first-team offense in place of Beadles. Kaepernick's first pass was complete for 2 yards to Garrett Celek. DeAndrew
White made a leaping catch on third-down to move the sticks with a 12-yard reception. The drive ultimately stalled and Bradley Pinion punted the ball back to the Packers.
Carradine ignited the 49ers defense with a sack of Packers quarterback Joe Callahan to start Green Bay's next drive. The 10-yard loss led to a quick three-and-out. Quinton Dial was down briefly and walked off gingerly under his own power following a 2nd-down run by Starks.
Ellington also hobbled off after returning the ensuing punt.
Kaepernick and the 49ers went three-and-out on their next drive.
Injury update: Ellington (hamstring) and Dial (knee) are both out. Reid (thumb) returned to the game.
The half concluded with the 49ers stopping the Packers offense on a 4th-and-goal attempt from San Francisco's 5-yard line. The teams went into the locker room tied, 7-7.
Green Bay got the ball to begin the second half. A 10-yard pass from Callahan to Geronimo Allison on 4th-and-9 helped the Packers get into 49ers territory. John Crockett followed with a 9-yard run to move the ball into the red zone.
Callahan found wideout Jared Abbrederis on a crossing route on the next play for an 18-yard touchdown to give the Packers the lead, 14-7. (9:10)
Jeff Driskel entered the game at quarterback for the 49ers first possession of the third quarter. A 14-yard pass to Blake Bell was all San Francisco's offense could muster on the drive.
An 11-yard pass to Bell, 9-yard pass to Mike Davis and 9-yard run by Davis got San Francisco moving on their next series. Driskel followed with a 13-yard run on a zone-read to get the ball into the red zone.
A holding penalty moved the 49ers back 10 yards, and San Francisco was ultimately forced to settle for a field-goal attempt.
Phil Dawson was true on his 20-yard field-goal attempt to pull the 49ers closer, 14-10. (13:47)
Callahan and the Packers answered right back. The quarterback scrambled free of pressure, ran to his right and unleashed an impressive deep ball downfield that was hauled in by Allison for a 51-yard gain.
On the next play, running back Brandon Burks broke loose for a 19-yard touchdown run to extend Green Bay's lead to 21-10. (9:09)
Christian Ponder entered the game for the 49ers. An impressive 10-yard scramble got San Francisco a first down. Three plays later, Marwin Evans intercepted a pass intended for DiAndre Campbell.
The Packers held on to win, 21-10. (0:00)The 49ers are now 1-2 in exhibition play and will close out the preseason next Thursday against the San Diego Chargers.