NFC Notes: Kaepernick, JPP, Hardy

For the first time since 2012, the 49ers will have someone other than Colin Kaepernick under center this Sunday when they face the Falcons. After the Kaepernick-led 49ers stumbled to a 2-6 start, head coach Jim Tomsula elected to make a change at quarterback and turn to backup Blaine Gabbert. Tomsula said that sitting will enable Kaepernick to take a breath and refocus.

“I’m not out of breath, so I don’t understand that reference,” Kaepernick said Friday, according to the Mercury News’ Cam Inman.

In response to offensive coordinator Geep Chryst‘s assessment that Kaepernick has been more focused on avoiding mistakes than making plays this season, the 28-year-old stated, “I don’t believe that’s accurate. Every time I step on the field, I step on the field to make plays. That’s just a matter of opinion.”

While Kaepernick may not agree with Tomsula or Chryst, he added that he’s respectful of the coaches’ authority (Twitter link via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez) and won’t be a distraction to either Gabbert or the rest of the 49ers.

“I’ll support my teammates and support Blaine in everything they do, because they’ve been good to me,” Kaepernick stated.

More from around the NFC:

  • Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost his right index finger in a devastating July 4 fireworks accident, could make his long-awaited season debut this week. Linebacker Devon Kennard said Pierre-Paul has been “very good” in practice, while head coach Tom Coughlin added that Pierre-Paul has “done everything we’ve asked him to do and we’re very positive about it.” Coughlin will decide by 4 p.m. Saturday whether to activate Pierre-Paul for the Giants’ game in Tampa (story via Brian Heyman of Newsday).
  • The Cowboys and Greg Hardy are facing further backlash from media and fans after Deadspin released horrifying photos and details of the defensive end’s 2014 domestic violence arrest Friday. In light of Deadspin’s report, Christine Brennan of USA Today writes that Hardy should be banished from the league.
  • Contrary to the wishes of Brennan and many others, the Cowboys won’t send Hardy packing, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin. The organization is unfazed by the Deadspin report and believes that Hardy has been suitably punished for his past misdeeds (which came when was a Panther). Further, considering the franchise is in the business of winning games, its thinking is that having Hardy around is more beneficial than detrimental. Hardy has indeed been an asset on the field for Dallas, racking up three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in three games, but his presence hasn’t yet led to any victories.
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