After four straight losses, the San Francisco 49ers (1-4) have benched Blaine Gabbert in favor of Colin Kaepernick. The 28-year-old quarterback-turned-activist-turned-quarterback will start in Buffalo this Sunday against a Bills team that has won three straight.
“They desperately need to try this,” FOX Sports NFL analyst Charles Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Blaine Gabbert has athletic ability, but he has never in his career flashed any type of consistency that says he’s a guy that should be under center for 16 games starting. Did he have some problems in Jacksonville that weren’t all his fault? Of course. He was playing behind not a very good team, they didn’t build well around him, and some guys never come out of that very well. But he’s had other opportunities and he’s never really seized it and just (said), ‘Okay, let’s go.’ You see flashes, but you don’t see consistency. So you’ve got to try this with Kap.”
Gabbert failed to pass for even 200 yards in four of his five starts this season. Kaepernick was benched last year, but right now, the Niners need him – and, as it turns out, the fans want him.
“Kaepernick – for all the controversy for him taking a knee during the anthem, for starting that dialogue and so much vitriol thrown his way – Phil Simms and Jim Nantz reported (last Thursday) that while they were on the break the crowd chanted, ‘We want Kap,’” Davis said. “I thought that was so interesting because he was such a lightning rod – or is such a lightning rod – for the criticism. But patriotism versus 1-3 – the fans are tired of 1-3. We’ll get to the patriotism again later. Let’s get someone in who can play or we hope can play. He gives them a better opportunity just strictly (in terms of making) plays with his legs. Gabbert should be able to do that. He’s more athletic than people know, but it’s much more (in) Kap’s wheelhouse and let’s see if that happens. Now I don’t expect him to run it 20 times, don’t get me wrong. But he’s got to be accurate throwing it and just that whole idea that he can hold the backside of a defense, maybe it’ll open up a few things for Carlos Hyde.”