When asked about the quarterback controversy in San Francisco, head coach Chip Kelly said he has "no idea" who will start this season, The Mercury News reports.
That is actually a fair response from Kelly, because Kaepernick is still rehabbing from thumb, shoulder and knee injuries and he hasn't had a chance to see what both quarterbacks can offer at full strength. Kelly also mentioned that Kaepernick has been at every meeting and practice "doing what he can." From the sounds of it, Kaepernick may be finally over the whole offseason fiasco that almost had him playing for a different team leading up to the draft. For now, it seems as though he will still call San Francisco home. Once he is fully healed from his injuries (target is still early-June), we will be able to see a true quarterback competition between he and Blaine Gabbert.
Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt is listed as the starting strong safety for the 49ers heading into Sunday against St. Louis.
With news of Antoine Bethea (pectoral) being placed on season-ending IR, the 49ers will call on their second round pick from this year's draft to start at safety. Tartt has the size and athleticism to play the position. He is more known for his big-hit ability rather than his coverage, so it would be safe to assume that he will be a modest source of tackles, rather than interceptions while he is starting.
GM Trent Baalke claims Dorsey is making "very good progress" in his recovery from an ACL tear, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Regarding Dorsey's availability for Week 1, Baalke went on to say, "I'm never going to give a definitive [answer] because I don't know. He could always have a setback coming up. But right now he's making progress, he looks good, his mind's in a great place, and ready to roll."
Despite this endorsement of health, Dorsey is almost certainly slated for the PUP list to start training camp. However, he won't necessarily begin the season there. Dorsey suffered the torn ACL last season against the Seahawks on Nov. 22, and although occurring late in the season, he could certainly be "ready to roll" come opening day. Comparatively, DT Geno Atkins suffered an ACL tear in Week 9 of the 2013 season, and was good to go for Week 1 of 2014.
Williams' contract with the 49ers has been reworked into a one-year deal worth up to $6 million due to the uncertainty surrounding his availability for the beginning of the upcoming season, CSN Bay Area reports.
Williams initially agreed to a reported five-year, $27.5 million contract with the 49ers following a career year last season, but after he couldn't pass a team physical due to multiple offseason ankle surgeries, Williams contract was reworked into a one-year deal. A player that's had numerous procedures to his left leg during his pro career, Williams' status for the start of the 2016 is in question following his latest operations, leaving the 49ers in need of some depth up front in case he's unavailable.
Bethel underwent surgery to repair a fractured foot this week, which is expected to sideline the cornerback during OTAs, the Arizona Republic reports.
Bethel reportedly played through a "slight" fracture in the foot last season, yet he was forced into a starting role following Tyrann Mathieu's torn ACL in Week 15. In the following four contests (including playoffs), Bethel totaled 25 tackles (24 solo), four passes defended, and one interception. With Jerraud Powers exploring free agency, Bethel is currently penciled in as the starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson (ankle), but the upcoming NFL Draft and his recovery may impact his current standing.
Mathieu's (knee) availability in Week 1 against the Patriots will be dependent upon his health, the Arizona Republic reports. "If I'm 90 percent, then I don't necessarily want to go out there," he said Sunday. "But if I'm 100 percent, I definitely want to be out there."
Embedded within his second rehab effort from a torn ACL -- the other occurred near the end of his rookie year in 2013 -- Mathieu's reticence to take the field isn't a shock, especially after logging just 13 games in a generally subpar 2014 season. With an unimpeded offseason under his belt last fall, he was the centerpiece of the Cardinals' defense, accumulating 89 tackles (80 solo), five interceptions (one for a touchdown), one sack, and one forced fumble in 14 contests. The season-ending injury resulted in a less imposing unit that was ultimately embarrassed in the NFC championship by the Panthers, which his representatives are likely pointing during the ongoing conversation about a contract extension. No matter if the sides come to an agreement, Arizona could be without its starting slot corner, if he deems himself unready.
Peterson's recovery from right ankle surgery is expected to encompass 6-to-8 weeks, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
With knowledge of his recovery timetable coming to the fore, Peterson is a candidate to miss the entire offseason program, despite optimism that OTAs could be in his future in the aftermath of this week's procedure. Even if he fails to take the field before training camp, he's hopeful that he'll avoid any of the recurring issues from the past two campaigns, though his ironman status as a professional remains intact.