The 49ers may be 1-1 after Sunday’s blowout loss at the hands of the Panthers, but their starting quarterback hasn’t been anything close to good. Blaine Gabbert ranks just 31st in the league in completion percentage, and only the Rams’ Case Keenum has a worse yards-per-attempt average.
Despite all of that, and despite having Colin Kaepernick on the roster, Niners head coach Chip Kelly said Monday (via the Sacramento Bee) that there’s been no discussion of making a change.
“He’s our starter. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Blaine,” he said Monday. “We’re not thinking or talking about not having Blaine in there. It’s about everybody on offense playing better right now.”
The reason might have less to do with confidence in Gabbert and more to do with the fact that Kaepernick might not yet be physically ready to take over the position.
“I think people still forget — he had a thumb, a shoulder and a knee (surgery),” Kelly said. “Usually if you have a knee (problem), you can lift with your upper body. Or if you have a shoulder, you can lift with your lower body. But he really was out of the weight room for six to eight months.”
San Francisco is sitting at 1-1 with the last loss coming against the defending NFC champs, so it may not be time to hit the panic button just yet. But if Gabbert doesn’t improve, Kelly will have to turn to Kaepernick just as soon as he feels is No. 2 QB is ready.