SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not require any surgery -- just rest -- from a foot injury he sustained early last season, he said Tuesday afternoon in the 49ers' locker room.
Kaepernick revealed in a newspaper interview that he sustained a chipped bone on his forefoot and a ruptured capsule in the ball of his foot on a Week 2 scramble last season against the Seattle Seahawks.
"It’s a non-factor," Kaepernick told reporters. "It’s a year-old injury now."
Kaepernick went on to rush for 524 yards during the regular season -- the second-most in 49ers history behind Steve Young’s 537 yards in 1992. But in the four games immediately following the game against the Seahawks, Kaepernick averaged less than 16 yards rushing per game.
“It was something that was always there,” Kaepernick told the Sacramento Bee. “Never spoke about it, never said anything about it because you're a football player, you play through pain. Unless you're being carted off, you should be on the field. If it's something you can play through, that's what you do.”
Kaepernick described the play in which he sustained the injury against the Seahawks as a scramble along the sideline on which he went down out of bounds.
“And I think it was one of their linemen or linebackers landed on my foot when I was on the ground,” he said.
The only play that fit that description in the 49ers’ Week 2 loss to the Seahawks came in the second quarter. Kaepernick scrambled to his left and picked up 12 yards. Cornerback Walter Thurmond forced Kaepernick out of bounds. Then, safety Kam Chancellor came over and might have hit Kaepernick’s left foot as he tumbled to the ground.
In any event, Kaepernick did not appear to be slowed by the injury for the remainder of that game. In the second half, he had some nifty runs of 28, 16 and 14 yards. Kaepernick finished with a team-high 87 yards rushing on nine carries.
But after that game, Kaepernick first appeared on the 49ers’ injury report with his foot condition. Although he was not limited in practices, he remained on the injury report through the bye week in early November. Kaepernick continued to take part in full practices during that time. He never revealed specifics about the injury last season, at one point joking that he had hangnails on the pinkie toes of both feet.
The 49ers clearly wanted to reduce the risk Kaepernick would face last season in order to keep him healthy, too. As the stakes increased later in the season, so did Kaepernick's production as a runner.
It was not until the playoffs that the 49ers began unleashing Kaepernick with designed runs. In three playoff games, he rushed for 243 yards, including 130 yards in the NFC Championship game against Seattle.