Miami Dolphins

49ers Kaepernick doesn’t believe anthem stance is hurting NFL ratings

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked on a conference call with Miami Dolphins reporters about a Sports Illustrated analysis that said some fans aren’t watching NFL games because of players such as Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked on a conference call with Miami Dolphins reporters about a Sports Illustrated analysis that said some fans aren’t watching NFL games because of players such as Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem. AP

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked on a conference call with Miami Dolphins reporters about a Sports Illustrated analysis that said some fans aren’t watching NFL games because of players such as Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem.

“They’re not watching football because of my stance about fighting systematic oppression and wanting the same equality and freedom for all people? I would say they probably need to look in the mirror at what they value,” Kaepernick said. “You know, if they’re OK with people being treated unfairly, being abused, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more with what they’re doing in their lives than it is about watching football games.”

JENKINS A PART-TIMER?

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, an impending free agent who has battled injuries much of the season, could be in his final weeks as a Dolphins starter.

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Wednesday that Jenkins must learn to stay healthy and might be better suited to be a part-time player.

“When healthy, he’s played well,” Joseph said. “He has to figure out how to stay healthy. Maybe a certain role fits him better. Part of being healthy is a skill set. He has to acquire that skill set.”

So what role might fit him better?

“Maybe playing less, maybe being a dime-backer full time,” Joseph said.

Jenkins, 24, missed three games last season and three this season while dealing with knee, hand and hamstring injuries. Jenkins, who has started five of Miami’s 10 games this season, was limited in Wednesday’s practice with knee and hand injuries.

THIS AND THAT

Joseph said he expects defensive end Mario Williams (ankle) to return Sunday against San Francisco after missing a game, but Williams was limited during practice.

Cornerback Xavien Howard, who has missed six games after knee surgery, returned to practice but was limited.

Also limited: receivers Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills, offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, linebacker Spencer Paysinger and running back Kenyan Drake.

▪ So why didn’t it work out with cornerback Chris Culliver, who was cut Saturday before ever playing in a game for Miami? Joseph said Culliver, who tore his ACL and MCL in a Thanksgiving practice for the Redskins last season, never returned to form.

Miami Dolphins veteran corner Chris Culliver talks about what strengths he will bring to the position, at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, August 10, 2016.

“Chris had two major knee injuries,” Joseph said. “He worked hard but never got back to himself. He was never, in my opinion, full speed. He needs more time to go home and rehab and train.”

▪ Dion Jordan, who has had two knee procedures since the summer, participated in Wednesday's light practice, his first in two years.

Asked if he will play again this year, he said: “I don't know. It’s kind of hard to tell. It’s my health. It’s my body. If my body tells me I’m not ready to go out there and perform with the best athletes, then I’m not gonna put myself out there. ... I’ve got high hopes for myself to get out there and compete before the season ends.”

Joseph said Jordan “is a natural end for us — our ends are more in the mode of outside linebackers.”

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