49ers starting C.J. Beathard vs. Cardinals after Nick Mullens injury

Dec 22, 2020, 1:37 PM

San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) warms up prior to an NFL football game against th...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The San Francisco 49ers will be turning to third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard on Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals after Nick Mullens sustained an elbow injury, per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday he would be “very surprised” if Jimmy Garoppolo, who Mullens was filling in for, was activated this week. Garoppolo’s practice window was opened on Tuesday for his return from injured reserve. Garoppolo has had right ankle issues most of the season and hasn’t played since Week 8.

With quarterback Josh Johnson also headed to the COVID-19 list, that leaves San Francisco with no backup quarterback if Garoppolo isn’t active. Shanahan said the team will attempt to sign a quarterback off another team’s practice squad.

The head coach also said that if they are unable to get that done then Beathard’s backup would be a skill position player and Barrows notes that the 49ers’ emergency quarterback is running back Jerrick McKinnon.

Beathard, 27, started 10 combined games in 2017 and 2018 before not playing in 2019 behind Garoppolo and Mullens. With Garoppolo’s injury problems, Beathard has appeared in four games this season but has yet to record a start. He’s completed 28 of his 45 passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

On top of the quarterback issues, the 49ers put starting running back Raheem Mostert on injured reserve, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. In eight games this season, Mostert has 521 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinals take on the 49ers Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and you can hear the action live on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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