San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said that Colin Kaepernick is being given a chance to compete for the starting spot. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Chip Kelly clarifies why Colin Kaepernick isn’t starting, sorta

The San Francisco 49ers have issues at quarterback.

Current starter Blaine Gabbert struggled mightily while playing two of the best defenses in the NFL over the last couple weeks — and that’s raised the number of questions head coach Chip Kelly has fielded about a switch at the position.

Earlier this week, he made it seem like it was Colin Kaepernick’s weight — or lack thereof after two offseason surgeries — that has kept him on the bench. On Wednesday, Kelly cleared up his earlier remarks and said the controversial signal caller is getting an opportunity to win the job in practice, but that his health is limiting his abilities.

“He has a chance every single day,” Kelly said. “Everybody has a chance every single day. But, if you ask me where he is, he’s not where he was in 2013. That’s the only thing I’m pointing out. So, he’s not 100-percent back from the recovery standpoint. He’s 100-percent healed from those injuries.

“So, that allows him to play in the game, but is he the same player that he was when he was running 4.5 and throwing the ball all over the place? He’s not that guy right now because he’s not where he was physically. You can just look at him physically. He’s not the same guy right now. That doesn’t mean he can’t be the same guy and he’s working as hard as anybody I’ve ever been around to get back to be that right now.”

For his part, Kaepernick maintained that he’s doing his job and will remain ready for when the call eventually comes.

“Whenever [Kelly] feels like I’m ready to step on that field, and ready to put me out there, I’m ready and willing,” Kaepernick told reporters.

“I go out to practice, do everything full speed, make sure I’m prepared for when my number is called,” he later said.

Blaine GabbertChip KellyColin Kaepernickjacob c. palmerNFLSan Francisco 49ers

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