The team on Saturday placed him on injured reserve with an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder that could require surgery early next week. Kaepernick on Friday told The Bee the injury originally occurred against the Packers in Week 4. The quarterback, however, only appeared on the team’s injury report with a shoulder issue this week.
According to a league source, Kaepernick had an MRI on the shoulder on Monday. Those images were sent to a specialist in Colorado who said that the quarterback had a “significant” tear in his labrum. Kaepernick will travel to Colorado next week and could have surgery on Tuesday.
The source said team doctors originally told the quarterback the injury would heal on its own, and he was not listed on any injury reports with a shoulder issue after Week 4. When the injury continued to bother him following the team’s recent bye, doctors re-examined the shoulder and he was listed on the weekly practice participation report.
He was a full participant Wednesday through Friday and was listed as probable to play Sunday against the Seahawks. Rookie Dylan Thompson, who had been on the 49ers practice squad, was elevated to the 53-man roster Saturday and will serve as Blaine Gabbert’s backup.
Kaepernick said Friday the injury is a leftover from a hit he absorbed in the team’s 17-3 loss to the Packers in Week 4, a game in which he was sacked six times. He also absorbed a big hit from Packers linebacker Clay Matthew after handing the ball off on a read-option play.
“To me, not only did I not have the ball but it was also targeting the head,” Kaepernick said after the game. “But to me, we’re onto the next play. I can’t sit there and complain about it.”
There was no penalty on the play and Matthews was not fined.
Kaepernick never had missed a start due to injury since taking over as the starter midway through 2012. He started the 49ers’ first eight games this season but was replaced by Gabbert in the most recent outing, a 17-16 win over the Falcons. Gabbert will start his first road game for the 49ers Sunday in Seattle. Coach Jim Tomsula had been non-committal on who will quarterback the team for the rest of the season.
Kaepernick’s contract calls for him to earn a significant sum if he suffers a career-ending injury, which this does not appear to be. The contract, however, also allows the 49ers to part ways with him without any significant salary-cap impact if it’s done before April 1. That’s likely to be the case.
The only other time he has shown up on an injury report this season is following a Week 7 loss to Seattle when he suffered a thumb injury.
This is a typical scenario when a player is done with a team…….