The 49ers will reportedly bench quarterback Colin Kaepernick Sunday against the Falcons

The 49ers are making a major change to their last-ranked offense.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers will bench starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick for their next game against the Atlanta Falcons, as first reported by

San Francisco is the owner of the NFL's last-ranked defense in both scoring and yardage, and has scored seven points or fewer in four of their last six games. Kaepernick's back up Blaine Gabbert will start under center.

It's the second major change of the season for the 2-6 49ers, who are 0-3 in division play. Monday, they traded their longest-tenured player in tight end Vernon Davis to the Denver Broncos.

First-year head coach Jim Tomsula, for the first time all season, did not declare Kaepernick his starting quarterback when he addressed the media Monday, a day after his team's 27-6 loss in St. Louis.

"We’re evaluating everything right now. So, we’re in the middle of it right now," Tomsula said when asked if Kaepernick would start against Atlanta. "I don’t have any comments on any position on our field right now. We are evaluating everybody.”

And when asked about how his quarterback played Sunday, Tomsula's words were pointed.

"Colin didn’t play good enough. Neither did the team. The San Francisco 49ers didn’t play good enough,” he said.

In San Francisco's last two games, it was outscored 47-9, while netting a combined 331 yards of offense.

After Sunday's game, Kaepernick was asked about possibly being benched in favor of Gabbert going forward.

"I’m doing everything I can to win games. Whether they make that change or not is their decision. But I’ll give this team everything I have every week," Kaepernick said.

As for his contract, Kaepernick's salary for 2016 it is only guaranteed for injury at the start of the next league year. If the 49ers do not believe Kaepernick should be their starter, they can release him with few financial ramifications, or look to trade him.

"I play this game because I love it," Kaepernick said Sunday. "I don’t play this game for money. I’ll be fine without football if that ever came about. But, I give everything I have to this game. That’s not my incentive or motivation to play."


Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.

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