Have the 49ers figured out which quarterback is their starter this season? They haven’t even decided whether Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick will start Sunday’s preseason opener against the Houston Texans at Levi’s Stadium.
“We’ll figure that out as we get closer to the first game,” offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said Tuesday. “Right now, we’re in training camp mode. We’re in installation mode. We’re in teaching-the-offense mode. We’ll kind of figure out the game plan as far as reps and all that in a few days.”
The team’s first depth chart of the year, released Tuesday, lists Gabbert and Kaepernick as co-starters.
The 49ers had their eighth training camp practice Tuesday.
Gabbert was slightly more accurate in team drills – he completed 10 of 12 passes while Kaepernick was 8 of 11 – but Kaepernick attacked the end zone more often during a red-zone drill, throwing for three touchdowns to none for Gabbert.
Kaepernick had trainers stretch his throwing shoulder late in practice but did not miss any repetitions because of the apparent discomfort.
Like coach Chip Kelly, Modkins characterized the competition as even.
“I think as we get into the preseason and we get to playing live games, those things will start happening, but right now I wouldn’t say anyone is ahead of anybody,” Modkins said. “I just think they are both progressing like we want them to and both have been really good.”
Hall of Fame coaching – The 49ers had an extra defensive-line coach Tuesday: former defensive end Charles Haley.
Haley, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, spent a lot of time with youngsters Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, especially during pass-rush drills.
Armstead left Sunday’s practice because of an apparent issue with his left shoulder. He was in uniform Tuesday but did not participate in full-contact sessions. With Armstead on the sideline during team drills, the first-string defensive line consisted of Buckner, nose tackle Mike Purcells and Quinton Dial.
Et cetera – The 49ers will practice Wednesday at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, their only home public practice of training camp. The team last practiced at Kezar in 2004.
▪ NFL officials will be at practice this week. The 49ers’ coaches have said their young defensive backs must get accustomed to avoiding contact with receivers beyond five yards of the line of scrimmage.
▪ Gerald Hodges practiced next to NaVorro Bowman at inside linebacker Tuesday. Hodges, Michael Wilhoite and Ray-Ray Armstrong have been rotating at that spot throughout training camp.