Kaepernick focus may shift from knee to arm as start beckons

Fri Oct 7, 2016 3:23am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly acknowledged that Colin Kaepernick could be promoted to starting quarterback following the team's fourth straight loss on Thursday.  Behind another uninspiring performance from signal-caller Blaine Gabbert, the 49ers suffered a 33-21 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals and are faced with a dilemma over their struggling offense.The home San Francisco crowd chanted "We want Kaep" in support of backup Kaepernick in the late stages of the loss, forcing Kelly to confront the growing QB controversy."I think we're going to look at everything, Kelly told reporters. "I mean, we're 1-4, we've got to make sure that we're going out there and giving us the best chance to win, so we're going to look at everything."   The 28-year-old Kaepernick has hogged the headlines this season without even throwing a regular season pass for the 49ers.His protest during the U.S. national anthem, where he takes a knee as a gesture against police brutality and racial injustice, has divided opinion between those who support his actions against those who believe it to be unpatriotic.

Kaepernick, however, has yet to make a major impact with his arm since losing the starting job to Gabbert in the middle of last season, before falling short in the competition for the top quarterback role prior to this campaign.But with the 49ers sinking fast, Kaepernick may get a chance to make his latest statement as a starter. 

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

 
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs onto the field during a NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports