Colin Kaepernick named 49ers starting quarterback

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

When the 49ers return to the field Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Colin Kaepernick will be their starting quarterback.

The team announced Tuesday early season starter Blaine Gabbert has been replaced by Kaepernick, whose protest during the Star-Spangled Banner since the preseason has made national headlines and prompted numerous follow-up demonstrations on fields from the NFL down to middle school.

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Per Pro-football-reference.com, Gabbert has the second-worst quarterback rating in the NFL through five weeks.

He has never seemed like much of a fit for coach Chip Kelly’s offense nor really like an NFL quarterback since being drafted comically high (10th overall) by Jacksonville out of Missouri in 2011.

The athletic, strong-armed Kaepernick could be the prototype for Kelly, but he was slowed in the preseason by his recovery from multiple offseason surgeries.

He looked like a future star after taking over as the 49ers starter in 2012 but gradually regressed since, ultimately being benched last season.

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