SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- To regain the weight he lost after a series of injuries that required a lot of rehabilitation and put himself in position to potentially take over the starting quarterback job, San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Colin Kaepernick has a very specific and detailed plan.
"Eat food," Kaepernick said, laughing. "And a lot of it."
That seems like a good place to start for Kaepernick, who hasn't revealed his current weight but has acknowledged that he's below the 225 pounds that he used to play at and where coach Chip Kelly would prefer to see him before he's willing to consider swapping Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert.
Asked Monday what Kaepernick would need to do to garner such consideration, Kelly said he didn't believe Kaepernick was at 100 percent and again pointed specifically to the weight Kaepernick shed during his recovery from knee, shoulder and thumb injuries.
"I don’t think he’s ready to go full time," Kelly said. "He’s continuing to work on it. ... And Kap will be the first to tell you, if you guys have been around here before, I think his playing weight has been around 225, and he’s not at that right now. So he’s going out there and continuing to work, continuing to get better. He had a serious layoff in terms of being able to medical rehab. To get the full Kap for what you need, the potential that he has, he needs to continue to just work on the physical aspect of things.”
Kaepernick said he understood that the weight loss was a reason Kelly has been hesitant to put him back in the mix more permanently.
"I think the fact that my weight isn’t where it was," Kaepernick said. "My strength is still growing, developing, but once again I’m always going to be prepared, always ready to put it on the line for this team."
After Gabbert struggled again in Seattle on Sunday, Kaepernick made it clear he would be ready to play when called upon, a stance he reiterated when speaking to the media on Tuesday.
"Once again, we are just trying to build," Kaepernick said. "Whenever he feels like I’m ready to step on that field and ready to put me out there, I’ll be ready and willing.
"I don’t feel like I have any issues there. Once again, I go out to practice, do everything full speed, make sure I’m prepared for when my number is called."
Kaepernick, who became vegan almost a year ago, has said he doesn't believe that his decision not to eat any animal products has prevented him from putting the weight back on. He's indicated he has found vegan-friendly protein shakes and other weight-gaining supplements to help in his efforts to regain the weight he lost. He's also indicated his speed is back where it once was.
Although Gabbert and the Niners' offense have faced tough defenses in Carolina and Seattle the past two weeks, it hasn't prevented some from calling for a change at quarterback. Kaepernick made it clear Tuesday that he believes in his abilities but stopped short of saying he thought he could be a difference-maker for the offense.
"That remains to be seen," Kaepernick said. "[It's] still going to be the same offense, obviously. I’m very confident in my talents and what I’m able to bring to the table, but it will still be the same offense."
Until his time comes, Kaepernick is focused on putting muscle mass back on his frame.
"That’s something that I’ve always constantly had to do, I always have to be conscious of," Kaepernick said. "I have a very lean body type, so putting weight on [by] eating is a little more difficult than [for] others.
"Once again, I’m always ready to play. I’m always ready to step on that field and put it on the line for my team."