Niners to start Colin Kaepernick vs. Jets after benching

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's benching lasted all of one quarter.

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins announced Tuesday that Kaepernick will remain in the starting lineup this week against the New York Jets. Kaepernick wasbenched in favor of Blaine Gabbert for the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears.

"Kap is going to be the starter," Modkins said. "And we'll go from there. We just decided during the game to try to see if Blaine could give us a spark."

Kaepernick had the least-productive game of his NFL career in the 26-6 loss to Chicago, going 1-of-5 for 4 yards and taking five sacks in three quarters before coach Chip Kelly opted for Gabbert.

After the game, Kelly indicated that the move probably wasn't permanent, saying it was made in an effort to ignite the stagnant offense.

"I thought we needed a spark on offense and needed to get something going," Kelly said Sunday. "[We] knew we were going to be throwing every down, so give Blaine a shot. That was it, nothing more."

Modkins made the announcement Tuesday in part because Kelly is not in California. He is attending the funeral of his father, E. Paul Kelly, in Maine and is expected to rejoin the 49ers this week.

Modkins said no consideration was given to taking a look at Christian Ponder, the only one of the three quarterbacks on the roster not to play this season. Kaepernick replaced Gabbert in Week 6 and has started all seven games since, throwing 10 touchdown passes and three interceptions for the Niners (1-11).