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Chip Kelly declares Colin Kaepernick one of his two best quarterbacks

Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, left, and Blaine Gabbert stand on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Colin Kaepernick occasionally does things other than not stand for the National Anthem.

And he’s going to do that other thing Thursday night.

According to Matt Maiocco of, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said that Kaepernick was going to play in Thursday’s preseason finale, and that he’s one of the two best quarterbacks on the roster.

Of course, the other one is ostensibly Blaine Gabbert, and he’s not playing Thursday night, which ought to be the clearest indication yet he’s the starter for the regular season. But Kelly said that Kaepernick’s lack of snaps made that an inaccurate conclusion to draw, since Gabbert has gotten more work than Kaepernick throughout the offseason because of Kaepernick’s surgeries.

Of course, being one of the top two quarterbacks on the 49ers is kind of like being one of the best dunkers in the annual PFT pickup basketball game, because the other two are Jeff Driskel and Christian Ponder. Given previous reports that the 49ers thought Kaepernick’s play on the field was “regressing,” there are plenty of people unsure about his roster status come this time next week.

And while Kaepernick’s political statement has been the focus of the last several days, Kelly said he doesn’t see it taking away from his preparation.
“When he’s here, he’s all about ball,” Kelly said.

How long that remains the case after Thursday’s game remains to be seen.