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Did C.J. Beathard do enough to claim the 49ers backup QB job?

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The 49ers gave him all sorts of opportunities the past month.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers decided to give quarterback C.J. Beathard one more chance to showcase himself in their preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers. The 49ers sat starter Brian Hoyer, and ended up sitting Matt Barkley as well. Beathard started and played the first half, and UDFA Nick Mullens made his first appearance, playing the entire second half.

Beathard finished the game 5 of 9 for 31 yards, but also had a 62-yard touchdown run, and finished the game with 80 rushing yards. For the preseason, he completed 26 of 45 passes for 401 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception, and a passer rating of 107.7. It is worth noting the interception came on a pass that should have been caught.

The numbers are not exactly the whole story for his preseason. He had some big catch and run plays, including George Kittle and Raheem Mostert. He did solid work finding some open guys, but there were plenty of bad throws in the mix. He’s a talented rookie, and we saw what you might usually expect from a rookie, inconsistency.

The question though is if he did enough to claim the backup job. If the 49ers decide he is worthy of the backup quarterback job, it stands to reason they would not keep Matt Barkley around. If you think Beathard is good enough to be the No. 2, Barkley doesn’t really offer anything else.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game that the coaching staff has decided on the backup quarterback, and they’ll address Beathard and Barkley about it on Friday. Shanahan did not play Barkley on Thursday, but he acknowledged after the game that it’s because they know what he brings to the table. Shanahan said there was nothing he could have done on Thursday to change the coaches’ feelings about him.

All that being said, I don’t think Beathard will be the backup to start the season. Brian Hoyer’s playing history has featured too many injuries to be comfortable thinking he will play a full 16 game schedule. If that factors into the decision, it comes down to if you’re comfortable knowing Beathard will almost certainly have to start one or more games.

I think we see the team carrying three quarterbacks, at least early in the season. Maybe they surprise us over the next 24 hours. Who will be the backup quarterback when Week 1 arrives?


Who will be the 49ers backup quarterback Week 1?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    C.J. Beathard
    (619 votes)
  • 21%
    Matt Barkley
    (172 votes)
791 votes total Vote Now