SANTA CLARA -– After splitting the first- and second-team practice snaps through the first nine workouts of training camp, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was limited to mental reps on Thursday.
The 49ers, who were already scheduled for a light, hour long practice, had Blaine Gabbert take all the snaps during two five-minute team sessions and one 7-on-7 period.
Kaepernick was given a “planned rest day,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said through a team spokesman.
As he did during most of the 49ers’ offseason program, Kaepernick lined up approximately 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and mimicked the movements of the quarterbacks during Thursday’s non-padded practice.
Kaepernick was not cleared to participate in most of the offseason work as he rehabbed surgeries to his non-throwing shoulder, left knee and right thumb. Kaepernick has been spotted getting some work on his throwing shoulder this week, apparently due to his workload during practices.
He is expected to return to full work on Friday, when the 49ers have a joint practice with the Houston Texans.
Blaine Gabbert, who is competing with Kaepernick for the starting job, completed 2 of 4 pass attempts with a short touchdown pass to tight end Blake Bell and an interception in 11-on-11 drills. Gabbert completed all five of his attempts in 7-on-7.
Offensive play of the day: It came during the final play of the practice with the third-stringers on the field. Rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel lofted a pass into the left side of the end zone, where fellow rookie wide receiver Bryce Treggs leaped to make the fingertip catch over the tight coverage of rookie defensive back Jered Bell.
Defensive play of the day: In a run-oriented team period, safety Eric Reid stepped in front of intended receiver Bruce Ellington to deflect a pass from Gabbert. Jaquiski Tartt made the diving interception.
This ‘n’ that: Coach Chip Kelly has his practices categorized as green (full pads, two hours); yellow (shoulder pads, 90 minutes); and red (no pads, 60 minutes). The 49ers went through a red practice on Thursday after green and yellow practices the past two days. The 49ers will have a fully padded two-hour practice on Friday with the Houston Texans. . .
Gabbert and Torrey Smith hooked up for a 25-yard completion during the 7-on-7 drill against Reid. . .
The 49ers’ defensive backs, who have been a bit grabby during camp, saw a few flags thrown their way as referee John Parry and his crew worked the practice. Parry’s crew will also work Friday’s joint practice as well as Sunday’s exhibition game at Levi’s Stadium. . .
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead appears close to being able to return to practice after sustaining a minor left shoulder injury in practice last weekend. . . .
Daily transactions: None. The 49ers have yet to place wide receiver Eric Rogers (torn ACL) on injured reserve.
Next practice: The 49ers are scheduled to return to practice Friday at 10:25 a.m. with a joint practice session with the Houston Texans. The practice is closed to the general public.