- Thearon W. Henderson/Getty
The San Francisco 49ers fell to 1-4 on the season after losing 33-21 to the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night.
The 49ers have now lost four straight games, three of them by double-digits, and are sputtering on both sides of the ball.
At the center of that is quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who through five games is completing just 58% of his passes, averaging 5.9 yards per attempt, with 5 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a 69.6 passer rating.
After a one-touchdown, two-interception night vs. the Cardinals, 49ers fans began chanting “We want Kap!” calling for backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is yet to play in the regular season. When asked about a possible quarterback change after the game, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said he may consider giving Kaepernick a shot.
“I think we’re going to look at everything,” Kelly told the media. “We are 1-4, we have got to make sure we’re going out there and giving us the best chance to win so we’re going to look at everything.”
Though that’s not a very firm guarantee – and Kelly said any decision won’t be made right away – it does open the door for Kaepernick to reclaim the starting job.
Kelly said Gabbert has been playing better in practice than Kaepernick, a continuation from training camp when Gabbert won the starting job. Kaepernick had been recovering from three offseason surgeries, and wasn’t fully healthy when camp began.
Additionally, Kelly has said he’d like Kaepernick to return to his playing weight of 225 lb. Kaepernick had lost a significant amount of weight over the offseason because he wasn’t able to work out. When pressed about it, Kaepernick said he was going to eat “a lot” and that due to his slim frame, it can be a challenge to add weight quickly.
Once Kaepernick is physically ready to start, the decision shouldn’t be hard for the 49ers. Many thought the 49ers’ hiring of Chip Kelly was a win for Kaepernick, who would seemingly benefit from Kelly’s uptempo, read-based offense, which would allow him to use his running ability. While we haven’t gotten a firm look at Kaepernick in the new offense, consider the worst-case scenario: he throws interceptions and the 49ers lose? It wouldn’t be much of a difference.
It would be somewhat of a surprise to see Kaepernick start in Week 6, but nonetheless, the chances of seeing him under center sometime soon continue to grow.