The head coach of the Washington Redskins said that National Football League (NFL) team would not be signing controversial free agent Colin Kaepernick even after losing a second quarterback to injury.
Jay Gruden said the team had spoken to Kaepernick but probably would go in a different direction, the Washington Post reported.
“Had this been Week 1, maybe he would probably be a greater possibility. But since it’s Week 13 with four games to go, in order to really utilize somebody like Colin Kapernick’s skill set, you’re talking about a whole new group of formations and run concepts and all that good stuff,” Gruden said. “It’s just very difficult.”
The Redskins’ starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, Alex Smith , suffered a severe leg injury in a Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans .
His replacement, Colt McCoy , then sustained a fractured fibula in the first half of Monday night’s Week 13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving veteran Mark Sanchez as the only quarterback on the roster.
Sanchez completed 13 of 21 passes for 100 yards and threw one interception after entering the game for McCoy.
McCoy underwent successful surgery on Tuesday and for the time being is not expected be placed on injured reserve, Gruden told the NFL Network.
The Redskins (6-6) are currently tied for second in the NFC East division, one game behind the division-leading Dallas Cowboys .
In 2016, Kaepernick made international news - and angered many NFL fans - by not standing for the national anthem prior to the start of games as a means of protesting police brutality and racial injustice.
He has been a free agent since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.
Kaepernick was considered one of the NFL’s top young stars when he nearly led San Francisco to the Super Bowl title in 2013, but he did not perform up to that same standard in ensuing seasons and had been benched prior to his decision to leave the team.
The 31-year-old, who has been part of a Nike ad campaign that employs the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” filed a grievance against the NFL last year.
In Kaepernick’s complaint, he claimed that team owners had colluded against hiring him in retaliation for his having started a wave of national anthem protests by NFL players.