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We almost got Kyle Juszczyk as QB in NFCCG

We were robbed

When the San Francisco 49ers aren’t involved, I root for chaos in NFL games. I want things to go absolutely bonkers and see ridiculous moments that we just wouldn’t think possible like a punter playing quarterback. Or just the simplest things like a longsnap for punts getting botched over and over again like the then-Oakland Raiders opening game a decade ago.

And while I wouldn’t root for this chaos when the 49ers are on the field, in hindsight, I wish I could have witnessed the chaos of Kyle Juszczyk playing QB4. In the NFC Championship game, we all remember the rotating quarterback injury carousel; first Brock Purdy goes down with the elbow injury at the start of the game, then backup quarterback Josh Johnson gets concussed, we get running back Christian McCaffrey for a hot minute before Purdy comes back into the game, now capable of throwing a football four inches.

At the 49ers 2023 state of the franchise, fullback Kyle Juszczyk joined linebacker Fred Warner and offensive lineman Jake Brendel for a segment with Greg Papa and Papa brought up how Juszczyk almost played quarterback. It apparently was something that was going to happen if the 49ers could have managed just a bit more progress across the field, according to Juszczyk:

Juszczyk: “Christian [McCaffrey] went in and threw the one pass. Kyle [Shanahan] had told me [after the NFC Championship Game] me that if we got a few more first downs—we have like an emergency, and when I say emergency I mean emergency package of where I go play quarterback—we probably were going to run a few of those plays. Who knows what that would have been like.”

Papa: “How would that have gone Fred? Any thoughts on that?”

Warner: “No comment. *laughs* I’m sure it would have been great.”

Juszczyk: “Emergency package...”

Warner: “Emergency package. Right. I mean it was an emergency for sure”

Warner’s right: It would have been great. Great for all of the wrong reasons. Given how just about everything else that could have gone sideways, did, it’s a wonder this didn’t happen on its own. This game was a literal definition of someone saying, “What else could go wrong” then an answer would appear like Trent Williams getting ejected for putting K’von Wallace into football’s equivalent of a DDT.

Don’t mistake anything here, all things equal, I’d want to see Juszczyk playing quarterback just as much as I wanted to see McCaffrey playing that position with a Super Bowl on the line. The moment Josh Johnson got concussed, the 49ers weren’t winning that game. So give me the emergency package. I have to admit, I feel a bit robbed.

Just a few first downs, 49ers. That was all we needed. The game went so bad they couldn’t even give me that. Perhaps we’ll get the emergency package at some point.