A total of six teammates of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick joined him for a protest during the national anthem on Sunday in the team's 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Safety Eric Reid, and linebacker Eli Harold kneeled next to Kaepernick as defensive backs Antoine Bethea, Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser and Jaquiski Tartt all raised their fists.
None of the Dallas Cowboys players took a knee as owner Jerry Jones watched his team from the sidelines. The Cowboys amassed a comeback to rally past the 49ers in another game where Kaepernick was left without any action once again.
There's no question that in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, it seemed like it was the 49ers were playing on the road rather than home.
“I couldn't believe it. I was like there's more Dallas Cowboys fans than there are 49ers fans,” said 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who has been with the 49ers since 2009.
“We're sitting 1-3 right now, so we have to do our job to make sure our fans come out for us,” said 49ers left tackle Joe Staley about the Cowboys fans.
49ers players and officials even noted that the tailgates were flooded with Cowboys fans and jerseys.
It may be something with these two teams, as last year when the two faced off in Arlington, TX, San Fran fans took over AT&T Stadium with a sea of red.
The 49ers were also hampered with injuries in Sunday's loss to Dallas. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley left for the locker room with an injury. Defensive end DeForest Buckner was using crutches after the game and has a walking boot on his left foot.
It also didn't help that 49er star inside linebacker, NaVorro Bowman, who was out for the entire 2014 season after suffering a grueling injury in the NFC Championship game that same year, was placed on injured reserve after suffering a serious Achilles injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.
With six minutes left in the third, Bowman went down to the ground away from the play. It was a non-contact injury. After Bowman was helped to the sideline, he was taken to the locker room via cart.
Prior to the non-contact injury in the third quarter against the Cowboys on Sunday, Bowman recorded 24 tackles, one sack, two pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble this season.
San Francisco will now look to Michael Wilhoite, Gerald Hodges, Nick Bellore and Shayne Skov to handle the inside linebacker roles moving forward.
Bowman led the NFL in tackles during the 2015 season and signed a four-year extension with San Francisco prior to the beginning of the 2016 season.
“It stinks,” said Staley. “It’s really, really bad. NaVorro is a captain for us, one of our team leaders. We’re going to have to have a guy step up. That’s a huge role to fill. You can’t really replace a guy like NaVorro, but we have to have guys step up and be ready to go.”
After Sunday's loss, the 49ers have lost three straight and over that span have allowed Carolina, Seattle and Dallas to average 458.3 yards and 35.7 points per game.
Before Bowman's departure in Sunday's game, Cowboys running back Ezekial Elliott had 53 yards on 11 carries in about two and a half quarters.
Soon as Bowman was out, the middle of the field opened up for Dallas, who ran it right at Bellore and the hindered 49ers defense. In fact, the first play after Bowman's injury was a run to Bellore's side and Elliott ripped off a gain of 23 yards.
Elliott even scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown without Bowman on the field. The Niners had a 17-14 lead at the time of the Bowman injury, but the team never recovered.
Essentially, the 49ers best overall player is done for the year and head coach Chip Kelly is left wondering what is going to become of his defense. Not to mention the offense has had questions dating back to last season’s horror of a year.
Perhaps, it wouldn't hurt to try Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, considering the offense looks limited with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Gabbert has a quarterback rating of 73.1, has completed just 58 percent of his passes and has only four touchdowns to go with four interceptions after four games.
In the first 16 minutes, the 49ers had eight first downs, 143 yards and led 14-0. In the final 44 minutes, they had just six first downs, 152 yards and were outscored 24-3.
Things really couldn’t get any worse for the 49ers, who by many analysts, are now predicted to finish as the worst team in the National Football League for the 2016-17 season. Coach Kelly doesn't have much to lose. Starting Kaepernick might provide some hope in that the team might create sparks, especially in a time when it is in dire need.