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SANTA CLARA –- Fans who attend the first game of American football at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday should figure on seeing more Peyton Manning than the home team’s quarterback.
“It’s going to be the same plan going into this game,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said on Friday about the 49ers’ plan for Colin Kaepernick at Levi’s Stadium against the Denver Broncos.
Kaepernick played just one series or seven offensive plays in the 49ers’ exhibition opener last week against the Baltimore Ravens. That is consistent with Kaepernick's prescribed workload in the exhibition opener in 2013, when he was the 49ers' opening-day starter for the first time.
In fact, Kaepernick played just one series in the first, second and fourth exhibition games last summer. In the third game, he was on the field for three offensive possessions, totaling 17 snaps.
Kaepernick got in more work last week against the Baltimore Ravens in three practices than he got against foreign defenses all of last exhibition season. Harbaugh was asked if that experience in the joint practices will impact how much the starters play in the preseason.
“It could, but it really hasn’t,” Harbaugh said. “It’s independent of that. I suppose you could factor that in. Every guy’s different. I can’t just say the starters are playing this amount or the starters on defense are playing this amount or certain backups are playing this amount. It’s more individualized to each player, each position.”
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Manning played two series (22 snaps) last week, as the Denver Broncos opened the exhibition season against the Seattle Seahawks.
Coach John Fox has shown a willingness to give Manning extensive playing time in the tune-up games.
Last summer, Manning played five possessions (34 snaps) in the second exhibition game. And he played seven series (53 snaps) in the third game before not suiting up for the exhibition finale.