After wondering what exactly was going on with Colin Kaepernick's running for much of last year's regular season, we have an answer. Kap told the Sacramento Bee that he suffered a chipped bone in his forefoot, and a ruptured capsule in the ball of his foot.
Last season, there was some chatter about a foot injury Colin Kaepernick suffered. In mid-October, he joked that it was a hang nail. Later in the month, Tim Kawakami discussed the foot injury in a little more detail. And then socalisteph put together some thoughts on how the mysterious injury could be affecting his mechanics.
According to Kap, the injury happened when a Seahawks defender landed on his foot during the Week 2 loss in Seattle. He said the injury prevented him from pushing off like he was used to, and it also diminished his acceleration. It helps explain why his rushing totals were down during a sizable chunk of the regular season, but then picked up in the postseason. I don't expect him to be running quite like he did during last year's postseason, but a healthy Kap should prove to be a more effective runner than he was midway through the season.
Injuries are always going to be a concern, and given the 49ers tenuous position behind Kap, every hit he takes will result in people getting a little bit nervous. Fortunately, Kap has generally done a good job avoiding significant injuries. Last night, Robert Griffin III showed his continued struggles in getting down on a running play. He does not take big hits every run, but he needs to learn how to slide, or otherwise avoid big hits while running. His legs are a huge part of his game, but if he is taking big hits each game, he won't last long enough to take advantage of those legs.
Kap is going to take some hits, but thankfully he has shown how to handle himself while scrambling. He has shown he can get out of bounds and slide without trying to get every last extra yard. At the same time, his acceleration once he gets into the open field might be the best in the NFL. There are faster quarterbacks in the NFL, but given how long his legs are, Kap's open-field acceleration is second to none. Getting that foot healthy only helps with that.