San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a solid 2013 season, even if it wasn’t quite as remarkable as his 2012 campaign. With only Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin as legitimate targets for much of the season, Kaepernick didn’t put up the kind of numbers we expected him to, but he was back to his ruthlessly efficient self by the end of the season, largely thanks to the return of No. 1 wideout Michael Crabtree. Another factor that hurt Kaepernick at the beginning of the season was a foot injury, as the third-year starter has revealed the true nature of an injury he once called a “hangnail”.
The Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows reports that Kaepernick suffered a “chipped bone on his forefoot and a ruptured capsule in the ball of his foot” in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. That’s a nasty injury indeed, and it’s a big reason why Kaep didn’t do nearly as much damage on the ground in his second season as the 49ers starter.
Kaepernick and the Niners did a great job of hiding the injury, and his final game of the season in the NFC Championship Game showcased his trademark rushing ability. In fact, his speedy legs kept the 49ers in the game when the rest of their offense was anemic against the Seahawks staunch defense. Kaep caused the ‘Hawks fits, though the impact of his rushing waned as his opponents tightened things up. His foot injury prevented him from running as fast as he could have or from accelerating, and the 49ers couldn’t afford to risk an aggravation; an injury to him would have been beyond devastating.
He’s healthy now and on a new contract that he very much deserves, so it will be interesting to see how many times he runs the football. I have a feeling his rushing will be used more often against tougher defenses and as a way of keeping opponents off balance, because the addition of Carlos Hyde gives the 49ers a great 1-2 punch at running back.