SANTA CLARA -- Peyton Manning, a 16-year veteran, might not need the NFL exhibition season at this stage in his career.
But on Saturday, he attempted 34 passes while playing 53 snaps in the first half for the Denver Broncos in the first half against the St. Louis Rams.
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick is nearing the conclusion of his first training camp as the 49ers' starting quarterback. In three exhibition games, Kaepernick has played 33 snaps. He has attempted just 19 passes in the three exhibition games combined.
And don't expect Kaepernick to see much action Thursday night when the 49ers close out the preseason against the San Diego Chargers, either.
Kaepernick has seen less playing time than any of the NFL's other healthy starting quarterbacks. It's a philosophy that is interesting, especially when considering Jim Harbaugh spent 15 seasons as an NFL quarterback. He should know what a quarterback requires from the exhibition season to be ready for the games that count.
"(I) just feel like probably what's best for our team," Harbaugh said. "They feel what's best for their team. I think pretty much we've always done it that way. They play what they play each preseason game."
Typically, starting units play longer in the third exhibition game. That was the case Sunday night for the 49ers, too. But Harbaugh said it was not by design.
"There's no emphasis on any other," he said. "The third game is no magic third game."