Indianapolis Colts

Kaepernick is leprosy to NFL owners, pure and simple

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AP

Kaepernick is leprosy to NFL owners, pure and simple

Colin Kaepernick offered to work out for the Tennessee Titans after Marcus Mariota’s injury. The Titans refused to consider it.

And so ends yet another installment in the continuing saga, “Why This Isn’t About Football And Never Was.”

Kaepernick is leprosy to NFL owners, pure and simple. Worse, he is the abject lesson the players are supposed to learn about those who get out of line. His quarterbacking skills have never mattered in the issue of why he remains not only unemployed but unconsidered.

I mean, how else does a blackball without evidence survive?

The latest story, as reported by Jason LaCanfora of CBS, merely reinforces what people who aren’t nailgunned to football came to realize months ago -- that Kaepernick is perceived by the owners as the reason why they were confronted with the angry overbelly of American society and why they might have lost ratings points and money a year ago.

Thus, when poor innocents like Brandon Weeden are signed instead of Kaepernick, they get savaged as though they were the ones who screwed him. Kaepernick is fully an ex-football player because the 32 owners have done a rare thing here – maintained internal discipline.

There has never been another issue in league history save crushing the union and squeezing the networks in which the owners have been in agreement. They are highly competitive billionaires used only to getting their own way, and some even care about football.

Thus, the current dearth of competent quarterbacks, which would typically cause at least a few of them to cast a wide net for anything that moves and has an arm, would have gotten Kaepernick a look long before this.

But in this singular case, it does not, because he gave the industry a problem it hasn’t figured out how to conquer in the traditional ways (like throwing more football at the problem, a la televising the combine), and they miraculously all agreed that wherever the bar is for competence, he and he alone is and shall always be below it.

In short, the only way Colin Kaepernick ever plays in the National Football League again is if someone in a big mahogany-and-ermine suite breaks ranks in the faces of his or her fellow suites, and that’s simply not the way for smart people to bet.

Ever.

Former 49er Gore passes Dickerson on all-time rushing list

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AP

Former 49er Gore passes Dickerson on all-time rushing list

INDIANAPOLIS – Running back Frank Gore moved up a spot on the NFL’s all-time rushing list on Sunday against his former team.

Gore, 34, gained nine yards on a first-quarter rushing attempt against the 49ers to move past Eric Dickerson and into seventh place in NFL history.

Gore entered the game with 13,256 rushing yards in 13 NFL seasons. Dickerson gained 13,259 yards in 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis, L.A. Raiders and Atlanta.

Gore is in his third season with the Colts after playing his first 10 NFL seasons with the 49ers. Gore ranks as the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher with 11,073 yards. The game Sunday was the first time Gore has played against his former team.

The 49ers selected Gore with the first pick of the third round in the 2005 draft.

Gore entered the day just 406 yards away from Jerome Bettis for No. 6, and 428 yards behind LaDainian Tomlinson for No. 5 on the all-time list.

All-time NFL leading rushers
1, Emmitt Smith 18,355 (1990-2004)
2, Walter Payton 16,726 (1975-1987)
3, Barry Sanders 15,269 (1989-1998)
4, Curtis Martin 14,101 (1995-2005)
5, LaDainian Tomlinson 13,684 (2001-2011)
6, Jerome Bettis 13,662 (1993-2005)
7, Eric Dickerson 13,259 (1983-1993)
*8, Frank Gore 13,256 (2005-current)
9, Tony Dorsett 12,739 (1977-1988)
10, Jim Brown 12,312 (1957-1965)

*-Entering Sunday’s game.

Debuts in Indy: Witherspoon suits up for first NFL game; Taumoepenu also active

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Debuts in Indy: Witherspoon suits up for first NFL game; Taumoepenu also active

INDIANAPOLIS -- Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, the 49ers' third-round pick, is set to make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

The 49ers did not announce any changes to their starting lineup, so Witherspoon's contributions in his first game could come solely on special teams with Dontae Johnon and Rashard Robinson remaining as the starters.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who last week sustained his fourth concussion since the summer of 2016, was cleared through the league's return-to-play protocol. He is active for Sunday's game.

Rookie outside linebacker/defensive end Pita Taumoepenu is also active for the first time in his career. Taumoepenu was a sixth-round draft pick.

Linebacker Reuben Foster (ankle) and safety Eric Reid (knee) were declared inactive. The 49ers believe both players could return to practice this week.

Here are the inactive players for both teams:

#49ers inactives
S Eric Reid (knee)
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
LB Dekoda Watson (groin)
S Adrian Colbert (hamstring)
LB Mark Nzeocha
WR Kendrick Bourne
G Erik Magnuson

Colts inactives
QB Andrew Luck
TE Jack Doyle
CB Nate Hairston
RB Matt Jones
G Kyle Kalis
WR Chester Rogers
CB Quincy Wilson