Kaeper­nick gets off his knees – to play

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SAN Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick will make his first start of the sea­son in this week­end’s clash with the Buf­falo Bills, the team con­firmed on Oc­to­ber 11.

Kaeper­nick, who has been the fo­cus of fierce de­bate over his protest of the US na­tional an­them, is be­ing called into the line-up as the 49ers strug­gle to turn around a dis­mal 1-4 start to the sea­son.

He re­places Blaine Gab­bert, who has started all five of the 49ers games this year.

“I think we were very an­a­lyt­i­cal and sat down as a staff and watched tape and went over ev­ery­thing,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “We’ve had a cou­ple days to kind of digest ev­ery­thing, where we are.

“I think of­fen­sively we need to be bet­ter and we need to just make a move. It’s not Blaine’s fault. I think it’s just as a group, of­fen­sively, we need to be bet­ter in a lot of ways so we’re go­ing to see what we can do to make a move here.

“It’s re­ally one of the only ma­noeu­vres we can make based on our depth, where we are and what we’re do­ing.”

Kaeper­nick’s last com­pet­i­tive start came dur­ing a 27-6 loss to the St Louis Rams on Novem­ber 1 last year. He played one more con­test be­fore suf­fer­ing a sea­son-end­ing shoul­der in­jury.

Gab­bert strug­gled through a patchy per­for­mance in his last out­ing, suf­fer­ing two in­ter­cep­tions and mak­ing only 18 of 31 passes for 162 yards as the 49ers were beaten by the Ari­zona Car­di­nals.

Kaeper­nick’s first start of the sea­son is bound to re­vive at­ten­tion on his silent protest of “The Star-Span­gled Ban­ner”.

Kaeper­nick has re­fused to stand for the an­them in what he says is a protest against so­cial in­jus­tice and racial in­equal­ity.

Al­though his ac­tions met with a fierce ini­tial back­lash, Kaeper­nick has won sup­port for his protest with sev­eral other ath­letes em­u­lat­ing his de­ci­sion to kneel dur­ing the an­them.

Photo: AFP

Kaeper­nick’s (cen­tre) na­tional an­them protest made head­lines. Will his play?

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