Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was benched in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, will start the 49ers’ game Sunday against the New York Jets.
Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement Tuesday while coach Chip Kelly attended his father’s funeral in Portland, Maine. Paul Kelly died at 87 on Friday. Kelly flew to Maine after Sunday’s game and is expected to return for his weekly news conference Wednesday morning.
39.6 Colin Kaepernick’s season-low passer rating against the Bears
On Sunday, Kaepernick received only five opportunities to throw – he completed one attempt for 4 yards – before being relieved by Blaine Gabbert. Modkins echoed Kelly’s remarks Sunday, saying the 49ers needed a spark.
“Kap is back being the starter,” Modkins said. “It’s nothing other than that.”
Kaepernick had been on a roll entering Sunday. His previous four passer ratings had been 89.6 or higher and he had thrown for eight touchdowns with only two interceptions. His rating against the Bears, however, was a season-low 39.6.
The game was played during a wet snowstorm, which threw the 49ers’ passing attack off kilter but seemed to have little effect on the Bears. Kaepernick, who has had some of his best games in wintry conditions – 2012 in New England sleet, 2014 in frozen Green Bay – never has worn a glove on his throwing hand.
“That hadn’t crossed my mind,” he said. “I hadn’t had issues in the past. So I hadn’t thought about that.”
Reuland hospitalized – Former 49ers tight end Konrad Reuland is in a Southern California hospital after suffering a brain aneurism last week.
Reuland, who played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and on the 49ers’ 2011 practice squad, was training in Southern California when he began having symptoms, including an intense headache, former Stanford teammate Chase Thomas said. Doctors placed Reuland in a medically induced coma and operated on him to reduce the swelling.
Reuland never played a regular-season game for the 49ers. He spent two seasons with the Jets and one with the Baltimore Ravens and participated in the Indianapolis Colts’ training camp this year before he was cut in late August.
“We just ask that you remember him in your prayers,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during a recent news conference. “Konrad Reuland, a tremendous guy, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight and tomorrow through the surgery.”
Kap is back being the starter. It’s nothing other than that.
Curtis Modkins, 49ers offensive coordinator, on Colin Kaepernick starting Sunday against the Jets
Et cetera – Left tackle Joe Staley, who typically does not practice Tuesdays this late in the season, was the only active 49er not on the practice field Tuesday. Running back Shaun Draughn wore a blue, no-contact jersey.
▪ Safety Eric Reid, who went on injured reserve after tearing a biceps Nov. 20, warmed up alongside his teammates before Tuesday’s practice. Another member of the injured-reserve group, defensive end Arik Armstead (shoulder), also was on hand.
▪ Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who suffered a high ankle sprain Oct. 23, still does not look fully recovered. He returned to practice Nov. 15 but has not been active for any games since the injury.