Kaepernick looking for redemption after low point in Arizona
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Colin Kaepernick's roller coaster career hit a low point the last time he played in Arizona against the Cardinals.
The starter in Super Bowl XLVII described the game from early 2015 as his worst start as a pro. He threw two pick-sixes on his first two possessions, leading to a disastrous loss, 47-7, before losing his starting job to Blaine Gabbert weeks later.
The embattled quarterback Sunday will make his first start in University of Phoenix Stadium since, trying to end the 49ers' seven-game losing streak under first-year coach Chip Kelly.
''It's a good opportunity to go back, redeem myself and try to help get this team back on track,'' Kaepernick said Tuesday.
''You always remember those games, but you move on from it. You can't linger on it. You can't dwell on it. You take what you can learn from it and move on.''
Kaepernick will bring with him good feelings coming off his most productive start of 2016 against the Saints, when he threw for a season-high 398 yards – the second-most of his career – on 24-of-39 completions with two touchdowns and one interception. San Francisco lost, 41-23, despite the offensive outburst due to four turnovers and going 0-for-2 in the red zone.
''We need to put up more points along with those yards,'' said Kaepernick. ''We still left a lot of opportunities out there on the field for bigger plays, more yards, more points. So, those are things we have to be able to capitalize on.''
Sunday will be Kaepernick's fourth start of the season after replacing Gabbert six games in. Kaepernick has a renewed mindset in 2016, while adjusting to everything that's come with his protest of social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. He's become one of the NFL's most polarizing figures.
''I think he's been through it all,'' 49ers safety Eric Reid said, who kneels alongside Kaepernick during the anthem. ''He came in this league as a back up, rose to the top, to the highest of highs in this league. And then he had a low point (against the Cardinals) and now he's battling back from that. I think that's helped him. There hasn't been too much he hasn't seen – too many emotions he hasn't felt. And I think it'll play well for him in the long run.''
Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins added, ''I think Colin is a strong young man and I don't think he's going to let anything that happened in the past shackle him for what he does in the future.''
NOTES: The 49ers' banged-up defense fell to last in the NFL in both yardage and scoring. It took another hit Tuesday with DT Arik Armstead getting placed on injured reserve with a left shoulder injury. DT Chris Jones, formerly of the Texans and Patriots, was signed Tuesday to take Armstead's place . The 49ers did not activate CB Will Redmond off injured reserve in time for Tuesday's deadline. He will remain there for the rest of 2016 after getting drafted in the third round from Mississippi State . Kaepernick said he did not vote in the presidential election after calling both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ''proven liars'' and ''racist'' in September.