49ers key matchup No. 1: Kaepernick vs. Wilson

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49ers key matchup No. 1: Kaepernick vs. Wilson

Editor's note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Seahawks matchups to watch Sunday, 5:20 p.m. (NBC-TV), at CenturyLink Field, Seattle

[RELATED: 49ers key matchup No. 2: Jean Francois vs. McQuistan]

[RELATED: 49ers key matchup No. 3: Crabtree vs. Sherman]

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Seattle QB Russell Wilson

Tale of the tape
Kaepernick (7): 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, second season, Nevada
Wilson (3): 5-foot-11, 206 pounds, rookie, Wisconsin

The 49ers saw Russell Wilson at his worst earlier this season. The Seattle Seahawks have yet to see Colin Kaepernick.

The two dual-threat quarterbacks will meet for the first time Sunday night when the 49ers and Seahawks meet in an NFC West matchup that could be a preview of a playoff meeting next month. And it could be the first of many meetings with Kaepernick and Wilson running their respective offenses over the coming seasons.

But Kaepernick's mind is not on the future. It's on tonight's game.

"He'll be my adversary Sunday night," Kaepernick said. "That's what we're worried about."

The 49ers are 4-1 since Kaepernick stepped into the lineup to replace Alex Smith, who sustained a concussion and was demoted once he got healthy. Kaepernick is completing 65.6 percent of his pass attempts with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is 101.3. Kaepernick is also the 49ers' second-leading rusher with 379 yards and five touchdowns.

Kaepernick has already gotten the better of his road meetings against New Orleans' Drew Brees and New England's Tom Brady. Kaepernick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his four-touchdown performance last week in a 41-34 victory over the Patriots.

Meanwhile, Wilson has come on strong in his rookie season. The third-round draft pick has thrown 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 95.5 passer rating. He has rushed for 409 yards, as the Seahawks have incorporated more quarterback runs into the offense since their Oct. 18 meeting at Candlestick Park.

Wilson completed just 9 of 23 passes for 122 yards and an interception in the 49ers' 13-6 victory earlier this season. Wilson had three rushing attempts for 10 yards in that game.

"The biggest difference they're doing since we last played them is they've installed the gun-read game into their offense and they're doing it a lot," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "They had shown it very sparingly prior to the last game. Now they're doing it a lot.

"And the quarterback's just gotten better and better, as you'd expect a rookie quarterback to do. He's no longer a rookie. This is his 15th pro start. So, he's really a good quarterback. He's very elusive, he's fast, got good command of their offense, throws the deep stuff well and he's been a great acquisition for them."

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”

 

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

SANTA CLARA – NaVorro Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season, has been a full participant as the 49ers return to the practice field this week.

Bowman worked with the first team at middle linebacker Wednesday and appeared to move at top speed as the 49ers went through the second day of on-field workouts at a voluntary minicamp.

The 49ers, under new coach Kyle Shanahan, are allowed an extra voluntary minicamp as part of their offseason program. Bowman's return to the practice field was the highlight as the 49ers enter their third-week of the offseason program.

In other notes:

--The 49ers had tryouts with three unsigned veteran players: cornerback Steve Williams, and offensive linemen Tim Barnes and Kitt O’Brien.

--Wide receiver DeAndre Carter made the best catch of the day on a deep throw from quarterback Matt Barkley. Carter beat Williams on the reception.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is a candidate to play the “Leo” position, was held out of competitive drills as he continues to recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

--Ronald Blair lined up at the “Leo” position with the first-team defense and beat No. 2 right tackle Garry Gilliam for a sack in the “non-contract” drills. Aaron Lynch was at the “Leo” position with the second team.

--Tank Carradine lined up at the 5-technique, which is a position where the 49ers could target Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

--Kyle Juszczyk showed the versatility that prompted the 49ers to make him the highest-paid fullback in the league with several pass receptions during the 90-minute practice.

--Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerbacks with the first-team defense. Robinson made a leaping interception of a Brian Hoyer deep sideline pass against Rashad Ross during 7-on-7 drills.

--Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garçon teamed up for a 20-yard completion on the opening play of the 11-on-11 period.

--Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, did not practice due to a soft-tissue injury not related to his hamstring injury of a year ago.

--Offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (soft tissue), tight end Je’Ron Hamm (leg), running back Raheem Mostert (soft tissue), linebacker Eli Harold (toe) and tight end Blake Bell (cut forehead) did not practice.