49ers name Kaeper­nick start­ing quar­ter­back

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

SANTA CLARA >> The San Fran­cisco 49ers are putting their fu­ture back into Colin Kaeper­nick’s hands.

Coach Chip Kelly an­nounced the de­ci­sion Tues­day to bench Blaine Gab­bert and to give back the start­ing job that Kaeper­nick lost mid­way through last sea­son. Kaeper­nick has only played briefly in the opener but has gen­er­ated at­ten­tion with his re­fusal to stand for the na­tional an­them as a form of protest.

“We were very an­a­lyt­i­cal and sat down as a staff and watched tape and went over ev­ery­thing,” said Kelly. “We’ve had a cou­ple days to di­gest ev­ery­thing where we are. I think of­fen­sively, we just need to be bet­ter and we just need to make a move.”

Gab­bert has strug­gled this sea­son for San Fran­cisco (1-4). He is last in the NFL in yards per at­tempt (5.9) and has the sec­ond-worst passer rat­ing (69.6) in the league.

“It’s not Blaine’s fault,” said Kelly. “I think as a group, of­fen­sively we need to be bet­ter in a lot of ways. So we’re go­ing to see what we can do and make a move here. It’s re­ally one of the only ma­neu­vers we can make based on our depth.”

Kelly said Kaeper­nick’s on­go­ing protest had no bear­ing on his de­ci­sion.

After lead­ing the Nin­ers to the Su­per Bowl fol­low­ing the 2012 sea­son and the NFC ti­tle game the fol­low­ing year, Kaeper­nick has strug­gled. He lost his job to Gab­bert mid­way through last sea­son and then had three op­er­a­tions that lim­ited his work in the off­sea­son.

“I’m ready to play,” Kaeper­nick said Tues­day. “It’s been about a year since live-game ac­tion. So I’m itch­ing to get back out there.”

Vik­ings sign vet­eran tackle Long for ail­ing line

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. >> Jake Long was just waiting for that call from an NFL team, con­fi­dent his right knee was healthy again and thus frus­trated to be out of ac­tion.

The Min­nesota Vik­ings, with both a for­mer coach and quar­ter­back of Long’s as a bonus, fi­nally checked in on the other end of the line.

“I know the type of player that I am, and I’ve still got a lot of foot­ball left,” Long said Tues­day after his first prac­tice with the team, tak­ing most of his turns at left tackle.

“It was frus­trat­ing, but like I said, I kept my head down, re­habbed, worked out ev­ery sin­gle day and knew a call would come even­tu­ally, and it fi­nally did.”

Browns shuf­fle QBs again

CLEVE­LAND >> The Browns are shuf­fling quar­ter­backs. What else is new?

With their quar­ter­back room look­ing like a med­i­cal sup­ply store, the team re­leased vet­eran quar­ter­back Char­lie White­hurst on Tues­day and pro­moted rookie QB Kevin Ho­gan from the prac­tice squad to the ac­tive ros­ter.

White­hurst in­jured his left knee in the fi­nal min­utes of Sun­day’s 3313 loss to New Eng­land. The long­time backup known as “Clip­board Je­sus” reached an in­jury set­tle­ment with the team be­fore he was let go.

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