Notebook: Blaine Gabbert to Start vs. Broncos, Colin Kaepernick Won't Play

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The top of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback depth chart will have a similar look for Saturday's preseason road game against the Denver Broncos.

For the second consecutive week, Blaine Gabbert will start and Colin Kaepernick will not play.

Chip Kelly confirmed the news on Thursday.

The coach added that Kaepernick will increase his throwing next week when the 49ers prepare to host the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the preseason. Kaepernick threw lightly during Thursday's second joint practice with the Broncos, but he did not take part in group periods

"The plan is to see if we can get him ready so that he's full-go," the coach said.

Kelly emphasized the team has worked with Kaepernick to develop the best rehabilitation plan going forward.

"He says he feels really good about it," Kelly said. "But we don't want to throw him back out there and then have a setback right now.

"We understand it's not a long-term thing. It's about just getting him back into it."

Kelly later said Kaepernick's right shoulder was experiencing "fatigue." If more descriptions are needed, Kelly offered how reporters can seek added context.

"You can go to Web M.D., I think," Kelly said with a chuckle. "See what that says. … Just see what words they can use. Fatigue. Whatever you want to call it. I'm good with that."

As for Gabbert's role for Saturday's game, Kelly didn't announce how long the quarterback will be on the field.

"We don't do any decisions in terms of what our reps are for the games until after this last practice," Kelly said. "We know what's available. Not only for Blaine, but who's with him in that group."

Gabbert wrapped up the joint practices in Denver with an impressive showing in red-zone 11-on-11 work. Gabbert completed three touchdown passes, two to Garrett Celek and another to Quinton Patton.

"We were clicking," Gabbert said. "I think we missed maybe one throw, but for the most part, the guys were running hard, the offensive line did a tremendous job blocking that front seven and just delivered the ball on time. The guys made some plays."

The veteran quarterback sounded pleased with how the practices in Denver went overall.

"Any time you can have joint practices with an organization like the Broncos, a great team like the Broncos, it's mutually beneficial for both teams," Gabbert said. "We got a lot of great work in, a lot of long practices, a lot of good work for our offense against a great defense. There's been nothing but positives that come from it."Niner Notes

– Recently signed quarterback Christian Ponder is expected to make his preseason debut against the Broncos. Kelly was impressed with how the veteran signal-caller was able to pick up San Francisco's offense in less than 48 hours. "If we get him in on Saturday in the game, it will be limited," Kelly said. The 49ers will look to run plays that mesh with Ponder's understanding of the offense.

– Bruce Ellington missed a second day of practice with an ankle sprain, according to Kelly. The coach said he wants more consistency out of his young crop of wideouts. "We haven't really seen a ton of that right now," Kelly said. "We've seen them flash, which is awesome because you know what they can do, but it's being consistent not only on a daily basis but really, on a play-to-play basis."

– Gabbert pointed to DeAndrew White as a player who impressed in Denver. "He's had to take a lot of reps," Gabbert said. "Him and Bryce (Treggs), especially in the slot. They've been running their tails off. It's been tough work for them. But for guys like that, it's the experience going against the ones, the twos, it's invaluable. The more reps they get, the more comfortable the get in this system, it's just going to help them in the long run. They're doing a tremendous job."

– Anthony Davis worked at right guard with the first-team offense. Davis told reporters after the session that he suggested the potential position move to San Francisco's coaching staff. "I'm an athlete," Davis said, via CSN Bay Area. "I can play anywhere on the line, and right now we want the best five on the field. And Trent (Brown) is not going to play guard. He's a giant man. I know I can adapt to guard, so I feel like that can help us."

– One of Kelly's best quotes of the day was on Charles Haley's current role with the team in the player engagement department. "Charles can do whatever he wants," Kelly said. "I'm serious because I'm not telling him he's got to leave. I think he's really been an invaluable tool for us just because of the experience he has. He has a unique way of presenting it where he's kind of funny, but I think when he gets really serious about pass-rush there's some tremendous amount of knowledge in what he has in his success in this league, his ability, that everybody recognizes, which is why he's in the Hall of Fame. If he can impart some of that on some of our young guys, we want to have him around as long as Charles wants to be around."

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