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SANTA CLARA – It was a rough day of work for quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers’ first-team offense on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
Kaepernick absorbed a couple of big hits, as left guard Mike Iupati had no success attempting to contain San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget. And after four series, the first-team offense managed just three points.
Kaepernick finished his longest stint of the exhibition with six completions in 12 attempts for 59 yards. He also lost a fumble when Liuget easily got past Iupati for the sack and forced fumble.
The play of the 49ers’ offensive line is a major concern. But most of the pressure came on the left side – and not the makeshift right side of the line.
Joe Looney started at right guard in place of holdout guard Alex Boone. And Jonathan Martin started at right tackle for Anthony Davis, who returned to practice Friday after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
The 49ers finally put together a scoring drive at Levi’s Stadium, but then settled for Phil Dawson’s 39-yard field goal in the second quarter. The 49ers were 34-0 losers to the Denver Broncos last week in their exhibition debut at their new home field.
Kaepernick, who has avoided a lot of big hits since taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback at the midpoint of the 2012 season, got hammered hard on the 49ers’ third play of the game.
Kaepernick began to scramble on a third-and-9 play. Defensive lineman Kendall Reyes had Kaepernick around the ankles, while Liuget and safety Eric Weddle hit him hard. The ball was jarred loose, but Kaepernick was ruled down.
The second series ended when Kaepernick fumbled as he was sacked.
Running back Frank Gore had a 2-yard loss on his only carry of the game. Rookie Carlos Hyde replaced Gore in the backfield.
Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert took over for Kaepernick in the middle of the second quarter.