Colin Kaepernick Is Still Training for NFL Return, Per Trainer Josh Hidalgo

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2018

Former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick applauds while seated on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Kaepernick is among eight recipients of Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Medals in 2018. Harvard has awarded the medal since 2000 to people whose work has contributed to African and African-American culture.(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick has not given up on making a return to the NFL.

Trainer Josh Hidalgo told TMZ Sports that the free-agent quarterback wakes up at 5 a.m. every day for training sessions, staying in shape in case an NFL team comes calling.

"5 a.m. on the dot we are on the field, warming up, sprint work, conditioning, throwing, lifting and stretching. Then immediately after Kap's training is done he is off to meetings ... then we are back at it 5 a.m. on the dot," Hidalgo said.

Kaepernick has been out of football since the end of the 2016 season. He has filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming the league's owners have colluded to keep him out of the sport because of his protests against systemic racism.

The former San Francisco 49ers star began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 following a rash of shootings by police officers of unarmed black men. The protests have polarized the nation, with President Donald Trump one of Kaepernick's largest critics. NFL owners have attempted to curtail protests but have drawn public criticism for their efforts.

The odds that Kaepernick returns to the NFL seem slim at this point. The struggles of safety Eric Reid to find a job make it clear that some NFL owners won't employ players who protested. Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in his protests and remained a free agent into the 2018 season despite starting 69 of his first 70 career games.

Reid became a starter again upon signing with the Carolina Panthers last month. He has continued to protest during the anthem.

Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions during the 2016 season.

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