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Ben Margot / Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick has the big arm to throw deep.

Poll

Who should be the 49ers' backup quarterback?

Leading Off: 49ers must keep Kaepernick healthy

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 - 5:59 pm

When Colin Kaepernick tucks the ball underneath his arm and runs for the end zone, 49ers fans may want to hold their breath.

After two preseason games, one thing is obvious: If the 49ers are to win the Super Bowl, Kaepernick can't get hurt.

There is no safety net, meaning there is no reliable backup quarterback if Kaepernick is injured this season.

The 49ers' concern already is obvious, with coach Jim Harbaugh benching Kaepernick after three offensive plays Friday and explaining to reporters in Kansas City that he "didn't want anything freakish to happen" to his starter.

The 49ers acquired Colt McCoy to back up Kaepernick, but after McCoy completed 6 of 13 passes for 76 yards with two interceptions in the first two preseason games, we understand why the Browns kicked him to the curb for a rookie last season.

But with a $1.5 million contract – more than Kaepernick's salary – more is expected from McCoy.

Last season's No. 3 quarterback, Scott Tol- zien, made the 2012 roster despite being outplayed by Josh Johnson. Now Tolzien is being outplayed by rookie B.J. Daniels, a seventh-round pick.

Daniels played the best of the backups in Friday's 15-13 win at Kansas City, throwing the team's first touchdown pass of the preseason and completing 6 of 9 passes for 72 yards.

But it doesn't matter if McCoy, Tolzien or Daniels is the 49ers' backup quarterback.

None can replace Kaepernick.

What to watch

Baseball, A's vs. Mariners, 7:05 p.m., CSNCA: Oakland continues its battle for the American League West title.

Today's poll

Who should be the 49ers' backup quarterback?

• B.J. Daniels

• Colt McCoy

• Scott Tolzien

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Monday's results

Did Angel Pagan's injury doom the Giants' season?

• Yes, they're better with him: 69%

• No, his absence doesn't matter: 31%

Total votes: 124

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Victor Contreras



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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