Blaine Gabbert will start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, reports Kyle McLorg (and confirmed every other NFL reporter). Regular starter and large headphone enthusiast Colin Kaepernick has been dire this season, ranking as the 30th best QB in the league by Football Outsiders, and 26th by ESPN.
This move was perhaps telegraphed by Jim Tomsula at his press conference today, when he refused to fully back Kaepernick. Earlier this season, whenever Tomsula was asked about benching Kaepernick, he responded with some version of, “Colin Kaepernick is our quarterback.” But today he would only say that he was “evaluating everyone.”
Two seasons ago Kaepernick was starting in the Super Bowl, ripping apart the Green Bay Packers in the process. But in the intervening 22 months a lot of things have happened, like the lesser side winning an office politics battle, Jim Harbaugh leaving for college football, practically every 49er defensive player of consequence retiring or being arrested, and the attrition of all of Kaepernick’s offensive weapons. Things have now devolved to the point where players are fighting about him at players-only meetings and supposedly sick of his headphones.
As for Gabbert, well, in 27 starts over three years in Jacksonville he didn’t particularly show an ability to play quarterback at the NFL level. He’s spent the past season-and-a-half sitting on San Francisco’s bench, flinging a measly seven passes. He’s not very good, but then again, at this point Kaepernick isn’t either. What do the 2-6 49ers have to lose?
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