At the same time Colin Kaepernick was preparing for surgery in Vail, Colo., on Monday, the 49ers addressed their thinning quarterbacks corps by signing McLeod Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad.
The former Sacramento State passer is a familiar face to the 49ers after stints in 2011 and 2013. Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst was the team’s quarterbacks coach at the time. Bethel-Thompson, 27, also had short runs with the Mountain Lions of the United Football League and the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena League.
He also has been on the rosters of the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, and he was among Miami’s final cuts before this season. Bethel-Thompson never has thrown a pass in a regular-season game. In the most recent preseason, he was 21 of 34 for 244 yards and no touchdowns with four interceptions for the Dolphins.
The 49ers have two quarterbacks on the roster, starter Blaine Gabbert and undrafted rookie Dylan Thompson, who until Saturday had been on the practice squad.
Thompson was elevated after Kaepernick was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of a shoulder injury. He arrived Monday in Vail, where he will have surgery on his left labrum Tuesday morning.
Kaepernick initially injured the shoulder in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers. A team doctor checked the injury at the time and deemed it wasn’t significant, and Kaepernick did not follow up with the team’s medical staff in subsequent weeks.
The shoulder, however, continued to bother him, and after the recent bye, the 49ers re-examined it and scheduled an MRI. That image detected a tear in his labrum, which a specialist, Dr. Peter Millett of Vail’s Steadman Clinic, will repair Tuesday.
Coach Jim Tomsula on Monday said he didn’t know Kaepernick was injured until after the bye.
“No. It was Monday (Nov. 16), (and) he showed up, (and) it was on the injury report that his shoulder was sore and they wanted to get it checked,” Tomsula said. “I knew that they had it checked, but he was in practice and practicing and all that. So, no, I didn’t.”
The Steadman Clinic will give Kaepernick a rehabilitation program that he will perform under the 49ers’ supervision. His rehabilitation is expected to take four to six months, meaning the best-case scenario for a full recovery is about April 1. That’s when his 2016 salary – $11.9 million – becomes guaranteed.
The 49ers are expected to try to trade Kaepernick or release him before then. But general manager Trent Baalke said Sunday he was not ready to say the quarterback’s tenure with the team is ending.
Dorsey tears ACL – The 49ers feared veteran defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey tore an ACL on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, and an examination Monday confirmed the injury. He will have surgery when the swelling in the knee subsides.
Not only does the injury end Dorsey’s season, it puts his status for next season in jeopardy. He was hurt on the 49ers’ first defensive snap when his knee appeared to buckle.
Dorsey, 30, missed last season after tearing a biceps in training camp. He is signed through the 2016 season.