The silent protest of Colin Kaepernick has turned not-so-silent very quickly. Kaepernick said he will not stand for the national anthem when it’s played before football games and, as noted by our own John Breech, he was wearing socks that appear to disrespect the police as recently as a month ago.

Will he go so far as to remove the American flag on his helmet when he gets into an actual game on Thursday night?

The 49ers are scheduled to play the Chargers — in San Diego, which has a heavy military presence — in their final preseason game. Chip Kelly expects Kaepernick to see plenty of action, and could get upwards of 30 snaps with the offense.

“We plan on playing Kap in the game, just because he’s got only 13 snaps so far in the preseason,” Kelly said. “Gabbert will not play. He has 43 snaps in the preseason.”

When Kaepernick hits the field, his helmet will include an American flag. Should he decide to take his protest — which, again, is no longer silent — further and remove the decal, he’ll be punished, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

It’s very possible he won’t remove the flag. Kaepernick was seen wearing a helmet during the preseason against the Packers that featured an American flag.

colinkaepernickamericanflaghelmetnflrules.jpgColin Kaepernick warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium. USATSI

So either Kaepernick will wear a helmet featuring a flag that represents the country and national anthem he’s protesting, or he’ll decide to up the ante on his protest and put himself in a position to be fined and/or disciplined by the NFL for altering a uniform.

Source: CBS Sports / Colin Kaepernick will get in trouble if he removes the American flag from his helmet