UPDATE: Colin Kaepernick makes 49ers roster
UPDATE: Colin Kaepernick survived Saturday's cuts as expected and will make the San Francisco 49ers roster.
The 49ers also kept Christian Ponder, so they'll carry three QBs into Week 1.
"He knows he still has work to do," coach Chip Kelly told reporters. "He's not up to his playing weight that he was when he was successful here and he'll continue to work on that. He missed a couple of weeks there with the arm and that set him back a little bit in terms of his ability to compete for it."
Colin Kaepernick won some people over with his softened stance and postgame comments Thursday night, and just as important to his football future, it appears he helped his cause by playing better on the field.
Kaepernick is expected to make the San Francisco 49ers roster when cuts are announced Saturday, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported Friday. Kaepernick had been rumored to be on the bubble due to his controversial national anthem stance and lack of playing time and production in the preseason. But the 28-year-old quarterback firmed up his spot Thursday night with a solid half of play, leading the 49ers to a touchdown on their first drive and looking much better than in the previous week.
Kaepernick finished 11-of-18 for 103 yards, rushed four times for 38 yards, and neither Christian Ponder nor Jeff Driskel made any big strides. (Driskel, in fact, threw two interceptions in four attempts.)
And while the controversy swirled as Kaepernick continued to boycott the anthem, he kneeled with teammate Eric Reid this time instead of sitting alone, and after the game spoke more about his intentions, pledging to donate $1 million to help the people he's protesting on behalf of.
So while Blaine Gabbert almost certainly will start in Week 1, it appears the 49ers are not done with Kaepernick, and the embattled QB may get a chance to not only continue his high-profile protest but also find a role in Chip Kelly's offense.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
No surprise, especially after Chip Kelly said he's 1 of 2 best QBs on #49ers, but hearing it's all but certain Colin Kaepernick makes team.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) September 2, 2016