SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday said he has seen the Internet sites that have written of his conversion to the Islamic faith. He said those reports are not accurate.
“I have seen that, and I haven’t,” Kaepernick said when asked about the gossip on fringe websites.
“I have great respect for the religion. I know a lot of people who are Muslim and are phenomenal people. But I think that comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country. People are terrified to the point where (Donald) Trump wants to ban all Muslims from coming here, which is ridiculous.”
[RATTO: Tip of the cap to Reid, Kelly, Nebraska, Rapinoe, Tate]
Kaepernick, who was named the 49ers' backup quarterback on Saturday, is protesting what he said he views as police brutality and oppression of minorities in America with his decision not to stand for the playing of the national anthem before games.
Kaepernick was asked about the influence of his girlfriend, Nessa Diab, star of MTV “Code Girl” and host of a nationally syndicated radio show.
“The impact is just conversations we constantly have,” he said. “This is an open discussion I have with many people, not just my woman. She is Muslim. Her family is Muslim and I have great respect for them. I have great respect for people’s right to believe what they want to believe. I don’t think anybody should be prosecuted or judged based on what their beliefs are.”
After a rough showing in the 49ers’ first loss of the season against the Seahawks in Week 10, San Francisco’s receiving core came to play in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals.
But no one stood out more for the 49ers’ offense than rookie wideout Deebo Samuel.
The South Carolina product hauled in eight of his nine targets in the winning effort, tallying 134 yards receiving.
Without star tight end George Kittle, San Francisco needed another pass-catcher to step up and Samuel did just that. The rookie was aptly named to the Pro Football Focus “Week 11 Team of the Week” for his performance.
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The speedster dominated after the catch as well, racking up 49 yards after the catch and forcing two missed tackles.
Samuel will have an exponentially tougher matchup in Week 12 when the 49ers welcome the Green Bay Packers and their stifling secondary to Levi’s Stadium.
SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon returned to action in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals following a seven-game absence due to foot and quadriceps injuries.
Witherspoon started the first three games of the season and will return to the starting lineup as early as Sunday night when the 49ers face the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium.
Emmanuel Moseley remained in the starting lineup against the Cardinals because the 49ers had a short week following the Monday night game against Seattle, coach Kyle Shanahan said.
“We weren’t going to throw Ahkello out there without covering a receiver at full speed (for the first time) in about seven weeks unless he could get three full days of practice in,” Shanahan said. “We walked through about 80-percent of our reps that week.
“Without getting the right amount of practice time in, it really wasn’t much of a decision.”
Witherspoon saw six snaps of action on Sunday when Moseley left the game briefly late in the third quarter due to cramps.
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Moseley, an undrafted second-year player from Tennessee, has been targeted 32 times and surrendered 19 catches for 248 yards with one touchdown and one interception with four pass breakups, according to Pro Football Focus.
Witherspoon got off to a great start through three games, allowing just six receptions on 19 targets for 148 yards with one touchdown and one interception and three passes defensed.