As it has from the start of this camp... or, really, from the spring, when it was clear that both 49ers management and Colin Kaepernick preferred for him to play in Denver, except no deal could be hammered out.
It's kismet, then, that the Gabbert-Kaepernick duel could end in two practices and then a game Saturday against Denver.
If Kaepernick can't participate this week, it's almost impossible to imagine he could make up that time; if Kaepernick can participate but is flat, it's just as hard to see him leaping over Gabbert as long as Gabbert is healthy and avoiding major offensive cataclysm.
It's just one opinion, but it certainly makes sense. Gabbert is simply the guy able to play right now while Kaepernick is injured. The story pointed out that Kelly said the exhibition season would be the largest determining factor so it's easy to see why this author is drawing this conclusion. Keep in mind, for a good stretch last year, Gabbert resembled an NFL-quality quarterback, playing at a 4062-yard, 20-TD pace. In the final nine weeks (eight games), he averaged 16.2 fantasy points, which is more than what Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan and Teddy Bridgewater averaged over that span. That sort of production puts him in the QB2/streaming conversation, and we haven’t even talked about how Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense stands to help his overall numbers.