C.J. Beathard, the 49ers’ backup quarterback, had an underwhelming preseason to the point where some thought his job was in jeopardy to third-stringer Nick Mullens.
While that was unrealistic, Beathard still did not appear to make significant progress this summer. He’s coming off a rookie campaign where he started five games and helped an 0-9 club notch its first victory, over the Giants, last November.
Beathard had more passing attempts than any 49ers signal caller throughout the preseason, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass and finished with the worst passer rating (74.8) of the team’s quarterbacks.
“I didn’t think he got a lot of great opportunities,” Shanahan said. “I wasn’t down on him at all, but I didn’t think he played his best. I wasn’t disappointed in him or anything; sometimes that’s how the preseason goes. Sometimes it’s tough to stay out on the field when you get a few penalties, you get behind the chains and stuff. Right when you want to get in a groove, you’re out and the next group is up.
“I wish he could have had some more success, but just how he’s played throughout training camp, throughout the entire offseason and battling a little bit of his foot injury as it went, I was very happy with C.J.”
Beathard was removed from Thursday’s game after just three plays. He was sacked on his only passing attempt when reserve tackle Darrell Williams Jr. was beat by rookie linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, forcing a three-and-out.
Beathard’s line for the preseason: 27 of 34 (60 percent) for 346 yards (7.7 per attempt), no touchdowns and an interception. Shanahan decided that it wouldn’t be worthwhile to risk Beathard suffering another injury Thursday.
The 49ers stayed relatively clean on the injury front Thursday. Backup fullback Malcolm Johnson left the game with a foot injury. Linebacker Pita Taumoepenu momentarily left the game after a hit to his head and shoulder area, but returned.
“I thought overall it was good,” Beathard said of his preseason performance. “Obviously there’s things you wish you had back. Everybody just felt a lot more comfortable this time around. ... I felt like most of the time, the ball went to where it should have gone.”