The San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback competition has taken a bit of a twist. Following a game in which Josh Johnson capped off a solid preseason, Jim Harbaugh told the media that Blaine Gabbert had an x-ray on his shoulder following the game.
Blaine Gabbert had his shoulder X-rayed after the game. Harbaugh said he will know more after a full examination— Kevin Lynch (@klynch49) August 29, 2014
Blaine Gabbert had X-ray on throwing shoulder. He says it's fine; got hurt just before his TD pass. Harbaugh praised him for it— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 29, 2014
The 49ers have several areas on the team that still have some question marks, but the backup QB role has quickly emerged as the most frequently discussed. The other positions all generally have solid talent competing, and it is more for reserve roles. Even at cornerback, we know who the starters are, and the backups competing are all showing good things.
On the other hand, the backup quarterback role is just one big question mark. Yes, Josh Johnson has put up good numbers in the preseason. However, there could be more to this than just his preseason numbers. I was stuck with the Texans broadcast (they do get excited for preseason football!), but jynx1285 mentioned the 49ers announcers talking about how maybe Gabbert was getting some more difficult play-calls for strictly evaluation purposes. Someone on Twitter got some quick video of that segment of the game.
What do you think this means with regard to who has what opportunity at this point? And whether this is the case or not, the shoulder injury now raises some questions as to whether or not the 49ers can afford to keep just Kap and Gabbert. Some have been talking about keeping Johnson for a while, but then it becomes a question of whether the team carries 2 or 3 quarterbacks.
Harbaugh on Josh Johnson: 'He had one heck of a game" Enough to warrant a roster spot? "I've been convinced of that for a while" Wants 3 QBs— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 29, 2014
I honestly have no clue how this competition shakes out. Gabbert's guaranteed money helps his roster chances, but given some of the other questions around the roster, he very well could end up getting bounced. I don't think that happens, but if it did, I would really not be all that stunned. It's just a tough situation to figure out from the outside.