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Colin Kaepernick takes mental reps, no physical reps in 49ers team drills on Thursday

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Reports out of 49ers training camp are saying that Colin Kaepernick did not take part in throwing during the team drills on Thursday. We break down the news, and what to make of it.

Fooch’s note: A 49ers spokesperson described it as a planned rest day.

Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert have been getting a fairly even split of snaps through the first nine practices of training camp, but that has changed on Thursday, at least for one day. According to beat writers on hand, Kaepernick is not taking his usual reps at the start of team drills. Matt Maiocco described it as a rest day, and the media said he mirrored the quarterbacks behind the line, taking mental reps.

Two days ago, Grant Cohn wrote in his practice report that Kaepernick appeared to have tweaked something during the session:

Spent the second teaching period lying on the ground while a trainer stretched his throwing shoulder. This lasted at least four minutes. At one point Chip Kelly walked over to see what was happening, and Kaepernick eventually jumped to his feet to show he was OK. But as practice went on, he kept shaking his right arm – it clearly bothered him. He threw mostly short passes the rest of the day.

Kaepernick had surgery on his shoulder late last year after being placed on season-ending injured reserve. He spent most of the offseason workout program rehabbing the shoulder. He took part in some 7-on-7 work and other drills in minicamp, but did not join full 11-on-11 work until the start of training camp. Fooch’s update: As people have pointed out, surgery was on his non-throwing shoulder, and Cohn was mentioning his throwing shoulder.

Given the lack of regular practice throwing in the offseason workout program, it would not surprise me if Kaepernick’s arm is tired. He spent June and July finishing up rehab and getting back some of the muscle he lost during his rehab. When you don’t do your normal throwing routine for that long, I have to think it is a process to get back to where you were before you got hurt. Kaepernick worked with the trainers Tuesday, but was a full participant in practice on Wednesday at Kezar Stadium.

The 49ers host the Houston Texans for a joint practice on Friday, and Chip Kelly is scheduled to speak before practice. I’m guessing he will get a question or two about Kaepernick’s status heading into the preseason opener.