Colin Kaepernick may have played his last down as a member of the San Francisco 49ers as the team placed him on injured reserve today. The team has announced that rookie Dylan Thompson will be promoted to the active roster to take his place.
It’s a stunning end to possibly the end of his 49er career. Just a couple of years ago Kaepernick led the Niners to the Super Bowl and was widely regarded as San Francisco's franchise quarterback.
In 2014, Kaepernick signed a six-year contract extension, worth up to $126 million, including $54 million in potential guarantees, and $13 million fully guaranteed. His $13.9 million base salary for 2016 doesn't become guaranteed until April 1, so if the 49ers do plan to move on from Kaepernick it will likely be before then.
Kaepernick has struggled mightily this year and was just recently benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert, who led the Niners to a shocking upset over the Atlanta Falcons in his first start with the team. Through nine games this season, Kaepernick has completed just 59 percent of his passes and also has five interceptions against only six touchdowns.
The injury suffered by Kaepernick is reportedly his non-throwing shoulder. Kaepernick told reporters, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, that the injury goes all the way back to the Niners Week 4 loss against the Green Bay Packers.
Blaine Gabbert will likely be the starter the rest of the way. The former Jacksonville Jaguar was a standout with the Missouri Tigers, but has failed to gain any traction in the NFL.
The 24-year-old Dylan Thompson set the South Carolina Gamecocks record and led the SEC with 3,564 passing yards last season. Thompson originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of the University of South Carolina on May 5, 2015. He was released by the team on September 5, and then signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.