Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday's 38-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a knee injury, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game that the team feared its franchise quarterback had hurt his ACL.
That leaves San Francisco with C.J. Beathard as the only QB on its roster, although Nick Mullens is on the practice squad. Beathard had a 69.2 passer rating in seven appearances for the 49ers last season, while Mullens has yet to take an NFL snap, leaving some fans to clamor for a familiar face: Former San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 season to protest racial injustice and inequality, hasn't played since opting out of his contract a year-and-a-half ago. 49ers general manager John Lynch told ProFootballTalk last year that the team would've cut Kaepernick had he not opted out of his contract.
Of course, the 49ers also are banged up in the secondary, losing Richard Sherman to a calf injury and free safety Adrian Colbert to a shoulder injury. Former 49ers safety Eric Reid, who kneeled alongside Kaepernick in 2016 and on his own last season, also remains unsigned.
Kaepernick's close friend, University of California Berkeley professor Ameer Hasan Loggins, offered his thoughts on the predicament facing the 49ers.
Kaepernick currently is suing the NFL for collusion, and the NFL Players Association has filed a grievance on Reid's behalf.
A reunion with the quarterback is unlikely. Shanahan told reporters at last year's training camp that the 49ers chose to move on from Kaepernick in order to have three quarterbacks with similar skillsets.
San Francisco 49ers
"I think when we knew we didn’t want to fully bring him in as the starter, I thought it was a big commitment to make for a guy that I wasn’t sure was going to be the starter and that’s really more what you look at," Shanahan said at the time.
Plus, he told reporters Sunday that he's "definitely happy" with the quarterbacks the 49ers already have in the building.
Shanahan did, however, express an openness to re-sign Reid when asked about the possibility in August.