DENVER – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick stretched out his throwing arm during warmups Saturday night during a half-hour session in which he threw more than 50 passes.
For the first time since he was held out of practices due to arm fatigue, Kaepernick was seen throwing to wide receiver running pass routes. His workout began approximately two hours before the 49ers and Denver Broncos were set to play the second exhibition game for both teams.
Blaine Gabbert will start for the 49ers.
Coach Chip Kelly indicated on Thursday the team’s plan is for Kaepernick to resume full practice on Monday and make his exhibition season debut on Friday against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium.
After warming up with throws from 10 to 25 yards, Kaepernick threw a dozen passes to Bruce Ellington, who ran a variety of routes. Kaepernick threw with good velocity, but many of his early passes sailed high before getting his throws on-target.
Kaepernick included six passes of 40 to 45 yards in the air, and a perfectly thrown 55-yard pass to Ellington on a fly pattern. Quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson monitored the workout.
Kaepernick has not practiced since he struggled during an open practice Aug. 10 at Kezar Stadium. Kelly said Kaepernick’s issue is with an arm upper-arm muscle. General manager Trent Baalke disputed the notion that Kaepernick is experiencing a "dead arm."
“His arm is tired. To say it’s dead, I wouldn’t make that assumption,” Baalke said on Wednesday.
Bruce Ellington (ankle) will not play in Saturday’s game, the team announced. Others who will be held out are wide receiver DeAndre Smelter (hamstring), and defensive linemen Glenn Dorsey (rehabbing knee), Arik Armstead (shoulder) and DeForest Buckner (leg).