The San Francisco 49ers are tooling up for their second preseason game, this time against the Denver Broncos, by holding joint practices with the defending Super Bowl champs.
One notable player who hasn’t participated in live scrimmaging this week is former NFC Championship-winning quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick threw some passes to receivers in position drills on Thursday, but head coach Chip Kelly told the media that Kap won’t play in the exhibition on Saturday. (Newcomer Christian Ponder will.)
When reporters attempted to drill Kelly on what exactly is wrong with Kaepernick — who apparently has what baseball pitchers call “dead arm,” a regular ailment in spring training — the new 49ers head coach had some fun.
“You can call it whatever you want,” he told a reporter who asked if it was “muscle fatigue.”
“You can go to WebMD, I think,” Kelly said, to the delight of the assembled media. “See what that says.”
Kelly ultimately suggested the team become even more vague regarding what’s keeping Kaepernick out of action.
“We can go hockey and go ‘upper arm injury,’” Kelly said, mocking how NHL teams disclose injuries.
Someone then suggested he regard it as an upper-body injury.
“That ranges a lot of things,” Chip riffed. “His spleen could be hanging out on the ground, but it’s upper extremity. I’m good with that.”
It sounded like the former Eagles coach was fostering a lighthearted environment, and Kelly showed he can be funny.
But how badly do general manager Trent Baalke and the Niners front office wish they agreed to pay part of Kaepernick’s contract to send him to Denver before the draft? Then, perhaps Gary Kubiak would be making these jokes instead.
Raiders lose, but that’s not what matters
The Oakland Raiders lost to the Green Bay Packers, 20-12, on Thursday.
What doesn’t matter: the end result — the 2008 Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason before going 0-16 when it counted.
What does matter: The Raiders committed 10 penalties, which is what coaches care about this time of year.