San Francisco 49ers Schedule: Chip Kelly Must Start Colin Kaepernick In Week 6 Against Buffalo Bills

The San Francisco 49ers entered Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a perfect opportunity to come away with a victory. The 49ers were playing at home against a Cardinals team that was without their starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, who suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. That left Arizona with backup quarterback Drew Stanton starting on the road Thursday night.

Following an extremely slow start to the game, San Francisco struck first with 4:12 remaining in the second quarter. Starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert hit a wide-open Jeremy Kerley for a nine-yard touchdown pass to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead. The defense then forced the Cardinals into another three-and-out which gave Gabbert and the offense a chance to take a two-possession lead prior to the half.

Unfortunately for San Francisco, Gabbert ended up throwing an interception that allowed the Cardinals to score on the ensuing drive as Stanton hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 1:40 remaining in the half. Instead of heading into the locker room with the lead, the 49ers were tied 7-7 with Arizona.

The San Francisco 49ers would go on to lose the game 33-21 as Gabbert threw yet another interception in the second half. For the season, Gabbert has completed only 58 percent of his passes for 890 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. That’s only an average of 178 yards passing per game while Blaine’s quarterback rating is a paltry 69.6 and his QBR is a 62.0.

After opening the season with a dominant 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the 49ers now sit at 1-4, and head coach Chip Kelly has an interesting conundrum facing him. Does he stick with Blaine Gabbert as his starting quarterback despite Gabbert’s struggles? Or does he make the move to Colin Kaepernick, who is making $12 million to ride the bench this season?

So far this season, the only time Kaepernick’s name has even been brought up is when referring to his silent protest of the national anthem. Colin has kneeled for the anthem during every game this season. He revealed to NFL.com that he’s not going to support a country that “oppresses black people and people of color.”

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

To this point, Kelly has said that the decision to not play Kaepernick has been based on Gabbert outperforming him in practice and Colin’s weight loss. During the offseason, Kaepernick had three separate surgeries, which led him to lose a bunch of weight, and Chip wants him to return to his playing weight of 225 pounds before he puts him on the field.

After last night’s loss, it sounds as if Chip Kelly might be changing his tune. The 49ers’ head coach was asked following the game about a potential change at quarterback, and he left that possibility open.

I think we’re going to look at everything,” Kelly told the media. “We are 1-4, we have got to make sure we’re going out there and giving us the best chance to win so we’re going to look at everything.”

I understand that Colin may be down a few pounds, but it’s time to end this charade. Blaine Gabbert has never had enough talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and with 10 days before the San Francisco 49ers are set to play their next game against the Buffalo Bills, it’s time for Chip Kelly to make the change to Colin Kaepernick.

[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]