San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has not yet named his starting quarterback as rumors are swirling that Blaine Gabbert blew his chance and did not get the needed edge over Colin Kaepernick.
Gabbert had the opportunity Sunday when Kelly decided to rest Kaepernick because of his shoulder injury. However, Gabbert blew his chances as they suffered a 24-13 loss at the hands of the Houston Texans.
Kelly told the media after the game that with the way things are going it is still an open competition for the starting job for either Gabbert or Kaepernick.
Kelly explained that he wanted to rest Kaepernick as they would want him healthy when the season starts. He added that it would not be fair to suit up Kaepernick with his current condition.
Kelly hopes that Kaepernick would be ready when they take on the Denver Broncos in another preseason match this Saturday.
As for Gabbert, Kelly noted that he still needs to get a feel with the first-team offense. He still has high hopes that Gabbert would be able to adjust to their plays. Kelly explained that Gabbert needs to control the ball and the situation, but added that it is still a long way to go.
“It was up and down, both Blaine and our first-team offense. I think that first drive, a couple balls he probably wants back, trying to get us on track. But I think once they settled down, got into a rhythm, I thought they did a really nice job of executing,” Kelly said.
Down 7-0 in the first quarter, Gabbert managed to locate Vance McDonald near the right sideline. The tight end made a nifty cut back upfield to break a tackle and find the end zone for the 43-yard score to tie the game. But after that, Gabbert was not able to follow up any touchdown until he was relieved by Jeff Driskel going into the final quarter.
Driskel had a static debut and failed to deliver the goods for the 49ers as they only managed to score through field goals all game long. The 49ers got into a slump as they failed to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter resulting in a loss.
Kelly wants to see an improvement this week in practice before they take on the Broncos. He wants his team to get back in their winning form and hopes that Kaepernick would be healthy for him to make his assessment on him as well.
It is still weeks before the start of the season and both Gabbert and Kaepernick still has a chance in making the starting job, however, it will a tough decision on Kelly’s part as he has to base it on their respective performances.
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