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Blaine Gabbert starts slowly, makes a few plays for 49ers

Blaine Gabbert

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert drops back to throw during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Colin Kaepernick’s not even playing tonight. But if he’s losing the starting quarterback job to Blaine Gabbert, it might say more about him than the 49ers.

San Francisco’s offense got off to something less than a flying start in Chip Kelly’s first game as coach, with a three-and-out followed by a Carlos Hyde fumble which was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by Texans linebacker John Simon for a 7-0 lead.

Blaine Gabbert, who appears to be winning the competition for the starting job by default, was rather unremarkable early, but tied the game later in the first quarter by hitting an open receiver after a Texans defender slipped.

On his first series, he missed a pair of check-down passes badly and had a screen pass dropped, and those are the ones he reliably connected on in Jacksonville. Later, he threw a hot-read pass at a receiver’s feet and missed a screen pass. He did scramble for a first down later in the quarter, and found tight end Vance McDonald for a 43-yard touchdown.

He was 4-of-10 for 63 yards in his first three cracks at the Texans defense.

The reviews of Gabbert out of camp have been generally decent, or at least not negative. But the fact Kaepernick can’t unseat him doesn’t speak well for his future in San Francisco. Or, really, anywhere.