The San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation is going to take some time to resolve, but both players are expected to get first team reps in the preseason. Chip Kelly met with the media on Wednesday before the team’s practice at Kezar Stadium, and got plenty of quarterback questions. He said the team will not decide on the preseason Week 1 starter until after Friday’s joint practice with the Texans. He did say that both players would get first team work in the preseason, but did not say if that would happen against the Texans. Fooch’s update: Maiocco’s report from the press conference suggests equal time in each game with the 1s.
The 49ers have split snaps pretty evenly between the two quarterbacks through the first eight practices of training camp. Gabbert got all the first team 11-on-11 work in OTAs and minicamp. Kaepernick spent the spring rehabbing his shoulder injury, but did get into some team drills during minicamp. He was cleared before training camp, and has since been a full participant alongside Gabbert.
The 49ers released their first depth chart of training camp, and it is no surprise that the two quarterbacks are listed as co-starters. Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that Gabbert had been in the lead, but things have narrowed with Kaepernick coming on strong. People think Kaepernick is a great fit for Kelly’s offense because of his athleticism, but the accuracy and quicker decision-making could end up giving Gabbert an edge. Add in Gabbert having mobility that is somewhat underrated (especially compared to Nick Foles and Sam Bradford) and it would not be surprising to see Gabbert win the job. But Kelly has said the preseason is when this thing will be determined. One of the two quarterbacks could come out and absolutely blow away the coaching staff, forcing their hand on a decision. We’ll see.