San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs to avoid a sack against the New England Patriots at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on November 20, 2016. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Colin Kaepernick still 49ers starter despite benching

The 49ers’ change at quarterback appears to be a temporary measure.

After benching Colin Kaepernick amid their worst performance of the season on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, the Niners have decided he still gives them the best chance to win games.

“Kap is going to be the starter and we’ll go from there,” offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said Tuesday. “We just decided during the game to try to see if Blaine [Gabbert] could give us a spark. Kap is back being the starter. It’s nothing other than that.”

Kaepernick only threw five passes, connecting on one for five yards in the contest. Gabbert didn’t do much better in the snowy conditions at Soldier Field. The backup finished 4-for-10 for 35 yards.

The timing of the benching was peculiar to some as a report circulated before the game that Kaepernick planned to opt out of his contract.

The quarterback flatly denied that report.

“I haven’t made any decisions on that,” he said. “Those decisions will come after the season.”

During the offseason, the New York Jets and Denver Broncos flirted with the idea of taking Kaepernick off the Niners’ hands. Obviously, nothing happened then and the signalcaller isn’t particularly interested in rehashing that now.

“What my focus is right now is getting ready for the New York Jets this week,” he said. “There’s no conversations with other teams, anything like that. Right now, I’m part of the 49ers. My focus is helping my teammates get a win this week.”

Chip Kelly will return to the team today. He had been in Maine with his family after the death of his father on Friday.

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