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Colin Kaepernick continues throwing in rehab, not cleared for practice

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The rehab process continues for Colin Kaepernick.

The San Francisco 49ers return to practice on Tuesday with the start of OTAs, which provide the first chance for full offense vs. defense work. The team cannot run one-on-one drills, but with team drills, we'll see significant implementation of the offensive and defensive playbooks.

This also means the quarterback competition continues to develop. The competition is not exactly in full drive, and it likely will not take that step forward until training camp. Colin Kaepernick continues his rehab process, but has yet to take the regular snaps the other three quarterbacks are taking.

On Friday, Tom Pelissero reported that Trent Baalke told him Colin Kaepernick had resumed throwing, but was not yet cleared for practice. Pelissero reported this Friday, but it was not actually breaking news. I bring it up here since people occasionally ask about random bits of news like that. I say it's not breaking news because Baalke actually confirmed this himself in a radio interview ten days ago. Matt Barrows had reported it earlier in the day, and Baalke confirmed the news to the host.

Chip Kelly was asked about the QB competition on Friday during his KNBR interview. James discussed Kelly's "I have no idea" comment yesterday, but here's the full transcript of his answer when asked who is starting quarterback will be in 2016:

I have no idea. We're not playing a game until September. At this point in time, it's early, and one of the players, Colin, is injured right now, so he's not been a full participant in everything. He's still working extremely hard at the rehab part, but I think people forget he had a thumb injury, a shoulder injury, a knee injury that he's coming off of. So, right now, Blaine's out there, Thad Lewis is with us, and Jeff Driskel are the ones taking the snaps in the offseason program. Kap's at every meeting, Kap's at rehab, Kap's at every practice, doing what he can. But we don't know exactly what we have until we get those guys up and running. That won't be determined until preseason camp.

Kap is learning the playbook and has been shadowing the quarterbacks during drills, but not getting to actually throw with receivers is certainly not beneficial. Barrows reported the expectation is he would be cleared by the end of May, or soon thereafter. The 49ers close out their offseason workout program with a mandatory minicamp June 7-9.

Ideally Kap can get on the field a little bit, but even if he does get out for that part of the program, he'll have some work to do to catch up in training camp. It's not the same as if he missed the offseason program entirely, but it's not a perfect situation. It will be interesting then to see how the QB competition shapes up when the first preseason game rolls around. My guess right now is that Blaine Gabbert gets the first team snaps in the first preseason game, with Kap coming on as the first quarterback in relief. I suspect we see both Gabbert and Kap getting first team work as the preseason wears on, potentially alternating work with the 1s.

For now, we'll continue to wait and see when Kap gets back on the field competing directly with Gabbert.