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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will play against the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday. The man many believe will win the starting job, Blaine Gabbert, will not play according to head coach Chip Kelly today.
The reasoning is that they have seen enough from Gabbert, who has 43 snaps in preseason. Kaepernick only has 13 snaps. The coaching staff would like more snaps from Kaepernick to make a proper evaluation of the quarterbacks.
Kelly would not state that Kaepernick would start on Thursday. The team still has practices to go through before determining that. "We've got two more days of training, and then we'll go through who's going to be available and who's going to be up," said Kelly.
Starters typically sit during the final preseason game, but you can't automatically assume Gabbert will be the starter from this news simply because Kaepernick has not played enough in preseason due to a muscle issue he had in his throwing arm. Kelly stated that a decision on a starting quarter could be made as early as this Friday, once the coaching staff has had an opportunity to review film from the Chargers game.
When asked if Kaepernick was one of the team's best two quarterbacks right now, Kelly answered, "Yes."
With coach Chip Kelly saying Colin Kaepernick is one of the #49ers two best QBs, it makes it awfully difficult to cut him later this week.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 30, 2016
Kelly also stated that the team would not release any quarterbacks to reach the 75-player limit by 1 PM today. The 49ers currently have 77 players on their roster.
Kelly was asked how much say he has on who makes the final roster. "It's a group thing and always input, y'know, the final say is Trent's and fine," said Kelly. "That's the way it should be. But, it's not like I can say, 'Hey, I like these eight guys' and he's like, 'I don't care about those eight guys. We're going this way.'"
Kelly went on to say that he and general manager Trent Baalke see things the same way on how to build a football team.
When asked if the 49ers would keep three quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster, Kelly stated, "It depends. We're going to keep the best football players on the team."
Regarding Kaepernick's protest of the National Anthem, Kelly stated that he did not talk to him upon learning that he would not stand. "It's his right as a citizen," repeated Kelly. He went on to say that his dealings with Kaepernick have been purely about football.