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The quarterback who lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick finds it “absurd” that Kaepernick has been out of a job since 2016.
Alex Smith started the first nine games of the 49ers’ season in 2012 before sustaining a concussion that opened the door for Kaepernick to step in at quarterback. Even after Smith got healthy, the 49ers stuck with Kapernick and rode him to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Ravens.
“It was hard to see that trajectory because he was playing so good and doing things that nobody had done,” Smith said Friday on “The Dan Le Batard Show” . “I think he still holds the single-game rushing record for a quarterback. It was crazy.
“So with that said, it was so absurd, I think equally, that it was only a few years later when you’re like, ‘This guy doesn’t have a job.’ That was hard to imagine, still is. A guy with his ability and trajectory that all of a sudden wasn’t playing.”
Eight years later, the 35-year-old Smith is and suffering multiple infections that threatened to have his leg amputated.
Alex Smith, Colin KaepernickAP
The 32-year-old Kaepernick, meanwhile, has not played since 2016. During that season, he regularly knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality, social injustice and police brutality.
Kapernick has since filed a lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that he has been blackballed from playing in the league again. He , but it did not result in anyone signing him.
In six seasons with the 49ers, Kaepernick completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while rushing for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“From a pure football standpoint, Kaep was a great teammate,” Smith said. “The run he had [in 2012] and the ability was crazy, it’s crazy good. You could certainly see a guy that, [with] that kind of running ability and also being able to throw the football and making plays, really in his first chunk of playing time — the trajectory he was on was absurd. A crazy gifted guy, really, really competitive, really tough when I was with him.”