x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

NFL: Kaepernick shines on San Francisco debut

Colin Kaepernick dominated the battle of backup quarterbacks as the 49ers ran out 32-7 winners over the Chicago Bears in his first NFL start for the side.

San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick avoids pressure from the Chicago Bears.
San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick avoids pressure from the Chicago Bears.

San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick tamed the fierce Chicago defence and dominated the battle of backup quarterbacks as the 49ers scored a commanding 32-7 win over the Bears on Monday.

With both Alex Smith (49ers) and Jay Cutler (Bears) sitting out due to concussions, the second-year Kaepernick rose to the occasion in his first NFL start by tossing two touchdown passes.

"It's everything I could've ever wished for," Kaepernick said after the game. "It feels great just to be out there."

The 49ers defence gave Kaepernick lots of help. The defence held Chicago to just 151 yards and pressured Bears quarterback Jason Campbell all night long.

Second-year linebacker Aldon Smith recorded 4 1/2 sacks, and the 49ers finished with five sacks along with two interceptions and a safety.

San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh was on the sidelines after being sent to the hospital last Thursday with an irregular heartbeat.

He had a cardioversion procedure done on his heart, which is an electric shock that restores the heart's normal rhythm. Harbaugh was back running the National Football League team's practices on Friday.

Quarterback Smith was able to attend practice on Thursday but didn't take part in all the drills. He was officially ruled out of the game earlier Monday after being looked at by the team doctor.

Campbell made his first start of the season in place of Jay Cutler, who suffered a concussion in last week's loss to the Texans.

Campbell struggled Monday as he completed just 14-of-22 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. He also had two interceptions.

Chicago dropped their second consecutive game to fall into a tie with Green Bay for first place in the NFC North.

Meanwhile, injury-plagued Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been ruled out for the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament.

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