Comeback Colin? 49ers fans clamor for Kaepernick return after Garoppolo injury

A knee helped derail Colin Kaepernick’s NFL career — could a knee also be the reason he gets a second chance?

San Francisco 49ers fans suffered some heartbreak Sunday. They watched Jimmy Garoppolo, their prized $137 million quarterback who led them to five straight wins at the end of last season, go down with a knee injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team fears he could be lost for the season.

While the team has tapped C.J. Beathard to be Garoppolo’s replacement for the foreseeable future, fans and even a free agent cornerback took to social media and clamored for the organization to bring back Kaepernick.

“49ers better call @Kaepernick7,” free agent cornerback Marcus Cromartie tweeted along with a photo of him and Kaepernick together in a San Francisco uniform.

“Hey, 49ers, Kaepernick is available,” one fan tweeted.

“If it turns out that the Jimmy Garoppolo injury is as bad as we fear, the #49ers can always bring back Colin Kaepernick,” another fan wrote.

But with Kaepernick, comes controversy.

Kaepernick started a political movement throughout the league when he kneeled during the national anthem before a preseason game in 2016 to protest racial injustices in the U.S.

His failure to sign with an NFL team after he opted out of his contract following the 2016 season sparked a collusion case against the league. He alleged that he remains unsigned because of his protests. He will have a chance to take his grievances to court after an arbitrator denied the NFL’s request to throw out his claim that owners conspired to keep him out of the league.

Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem at a 2016 preseason game.  (AP)

Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 and the last time the 49ers had a winning record, the University of Nevada product was under center.

Kaepernick also has experience in a run-pass option offense, which is what head coach Kyle Shanahan is currently running with his team.

However, USA Today noted that the 49ers signaled they were finished with Kaepernick for good once he opted out of his contract and they drafted Beathard and signed Brian Hoyer at the time. General manager John Lynch also noted that Kaepernick would have been released anyway.

While the newspaper notes that Kaepernick’s completion rate hasn’t been good since 2013, the quarterback finished around the 60 percent mark in his final three years and only completed 58 percent of his passes in his breakout 2013 season.

Kaepernick’s attorney last week also speculated there could be two teams interested in Kaepernick.

“I would just say, ‘Stay tuned’’… that next week there may be some news,” attorney Mark Geragos told TMZ Sports.

Dec 24, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) pumps his fist as he acknowledges the cheers from the 49ers' fans after leading his team to a 22-21 come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports - 9767585

Kaepernick hasn’t played a down since 2017.  (USA Today Sports/Reuters)

He floated the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders as potential suitors.

With the 49ers being primed as a possible playoff contender, it will be interesting to see whether Beathard will be able to keep the reigns or whether the team will turn to a quarterback who has a winning pedigree in San Francisco.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

From Fox News.

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