Five 49ers to watch: 1. Third quarterback

606318.jpg

Five 49ers to watch: 1. Third quarterback

(This is the final part in a series that spotlights five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition game Sunday, 1 p.m. (FOX-TV), at the Denver Broncos.)The 49ers have their top two quarterbacks. Alex Smith is the starter, and Colin Kaepernick is the backup.After that, it's a toss-up.Coach Jim Harbaugh has stated repeatedly he believes the 49ers have four NFL-caliber quarterbacks on the roster. The 49ers signed Josh Johnson, formerly Tampa Bay's backup, to a contract this offseason that guaranteed him 350,000. The 49ers claimed Scott Tolzien off waivers last summer.Johnson and Tolzien are in the midst of a tight race to be the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback.
Alex Smith is expected to play a little more in Sunday's nationally televised game against the Broncos. The 49ers still need to get work for Kaepernick. So the 49ers might not be able to play all four of their quarterbacks in this game.And Harbaugh did not telegraph his move of which quarterback will go into the game after Smith and Kaepernick. That quarterback will have an opportunity to nail down a roster spot with the 49ers andor showcase his skills for other NFL teams.The 49ers do not want to keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Ideally, they'd like to pick up a late-round draft pick for either Johnson or Tolzien.If they can't find a trade partner, then they have two options: 1) Keep all four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for a while in hopes that another team will need to trade for a quarterback early in the season; 2) Make the difficult call to cut either Johnson or Tolzien.Johnson has completed 6 of 10 passes (60 percent) for 94 yards with no TDs and no interceptions in two exhibition games. Tolzien is 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) for 107 yards with no TDs and one interception (hit while throwing against Minnesota in the exhibition opener).

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

Colin Kaepernick will remain as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement on Tuesday while coach Chip Kelly was in Maine for services for his father, E. Paul Kelly, who passed away on Friday.

Kaepernick has started the past seven games for the 49ers, during which time the club has gone winless. The 49ers (1-11) are on a franchise-long 11 game-losing streak.

Kaepernick went 1 of 5 on Sunday for just four yards in the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards before getting benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

“We had been playing good football on offense and the thing had been trending in the right direction,” Modkins said.

A week earlier against the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 113 yards as the 49ers rolled up 475 yards of total offense.

Kelly said the 49ers made the switch at quarterback early in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Bears in hopes Gabbert would provide a spark. Gabbert started the 49ers’ first five games of the season before Kaepernick replaced him.
 

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Frank Gore continues to move up the list of the top rushers in NFL history.

Gore, the 49ers’ all-time leading ground-gainer, picked up 79 yards on 20 rushing attempts Monday night in the Indianapolis Colts’ 41-10 victory over the New York Jets.

Gore moved past Tony Dorsett and into eighth place on the NFL’s all-time list with 12,789 yards. Next up is Eric Dickerson at No. 7 with 13,259 yards.

The only retired player in the top 11 all-time rushers who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is LaDainian Tomlinson. He is eligible for the induction for the first time in 2017. The only other running back in the top 15 who is not in the Hall of Fame is Edgerrin James at No. 12.

In 10 seasons with the 49ers, Gore gained a club-record 11,073 yards. In 28 games with the Colts, Gore has 1,716 yards.

After coming up just 33 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark in his first year in Indianapolis, Gore needs 251 yards in the final four games for the ninth 1,000-yard season of his 12-year career.