Chip Kelly on Colin Kaepernick: “We need to get him back to where he was physically”

Sep 8, 2016 at 10:50 AM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly met with the media today to offer them updates leading up to Monday night's home opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

Kelly started by stating that DL Glenn Dorsey is expected to be active for Monday's game. Dorsey missed the entire 2014 season with a torn bicep. In 2015, he tore his ACL against the Seattle Seahawks on November 22. He appeared in 10 games for the 49ers last season, making seven starts.

Kelly was asked about the importance of Monday night's game against the Rams, who have returned to Los Angeles. "I'm not nostalgic and look at new era, bad whatever it is," said Kelly. "I don't think we approach it that way. The game itself doesn't know how important it is. It's the importance that we put on the game."

"For us, all of our emphasis is on the game that we play that week," said Kelly.

Kelly was asked about what he took away from QB Colin Kaepernick's performance against backups in the final preseason game – a matchup against the San Diego Chargers. "I thought Kap did a nice job. It was unfortunate for him – because of the arm injury – that we didn't have an opportunity to see him earlier, to get a chance to get in there against Houston and our second preseason game, but then finally get back out there. He got some limited reps in terms of the third preseason game.

"But just to get him back on his feet and get him going. He'll be the first to tell you we need to get him back to where he was physically. He's still working on that. I think he's obviously got nothing wrong with him from injuries that he had last year so medically he's cleared to play but physically he still needs to make some strides in terms of getting back to where he was as a player so that's kind of the process that we're going through right now."

Kelly was asked if there were any thoughts of moving QB Christian Ponder into the backup role because of Kaepernick's setback. "No," Kelly answered. "I mean, [Kaepernick]'s not all the way back to being the Super Bowl quarterback that he was. You guys watched the game against San Diego. It's not that we don't feel like he can go out and compete for us.

"And it's the same thing with Christian. Christian was knocking some rust off too because he's had some time off. So Christian, if you ask him, probably isn't where he would want to be at this point and time during the season. But he's growing and getting better on a daily basis."

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