By Michael Donovan
Colin Kaepernick has thrown his last pass for the San Francisco 49ers.
Which begs the question:
Will he be tossing for Chjp Kelly and the Eagles in 2016?
Kaepernick was placed on season-ending injured reserve by San Francisco on Saturday with a left shoulder injury, probably signaling an end to his time with the 49ers just three seasons after he led them to a Super Bowl.
Kaepernick has the read-option skills that Kelly has been looking for in a QB — certainly Sam Bradford doesn’t have them — so the natural speculation will ensue unless Bradford comes storming back from his injuries to lead the Birds to the playoffs.
Kaepernick took over the starting job from Alex Smith in November 2012 and immediately showed the dynamic player he could be with his strong arm and quick legs — including that quarterback-record 181 yards rushing in a playoff win against Green Bay on the way to the Super Bowl.
Yet that guy never came to life this season, instead making more mistakes than memorable plays.
Blaine Gabbert took over for the benched Kaepernick against Atlanta on Nov. 8 and led the team to a 17-16 win, then coach Jim Tomsula said Gabbert would keep the starting job at least for another game this week against the rival Seahawks.
Kaepernick began the week coming off the team’s bye with soreness in his non-throwing shoulder and he brought it to the attention of the medical staff Monday. He received treatment throughout the week, but was listed as a full participant in practice.
He was listed as probable Friday to be available if needed for Sunday’s game at Seattle as the backup to promoted starter Blaine Gabbert.
But after the team submitted the injury report, Kaepernick returned to the training staff Friday following practice and said the shoulder wasn’t making any progress and then asked about his options. Surgery was considered a real possibility.
The 28-year-old Kaepernick’s $11.9 million 2016 contract would become fully guaranteed for injury if he’s still on the roster on April 1.
Because of that, many already figured Kaepernick’s time with the Niners (3-6) might be done in what so far has been a forgettable season.
Kaepernick’s time could be over with the franchise that drafted him in the second round out of Nevada in 2011.