San Francisco 49ers

Why 49ers signed a third quarterback to active roster

The 49ers on Tuesday signed former Texans quarterback Tom Savage after the team previously had just two signal callers following the season-ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo.

“He’s got a strong arm. He’s a very tough player. He hangs in that pocket and plays the potion well,” Kyle Shanahan said in a conference call on Tuesday. “I was a fan of his coming out of college. He’s gotten to play in a number of NFL games so he’s been battle tested.”

Shanahan has said he planned on adding a quarterback to provide insurance for C.J. Beathard, who took over the starting job after Garoppolo went down with an ACL injury last month. The team’s only other quarterback is Nick Mullens, a 2017 undrafted free agent who was elevated from the practice squad following Garoppolo’s injury.

Savage, 28, started nine games with Houston after the Texans made him a fourth-round draft pick in 2014. He went 2-7 as starter while completing 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,000 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions, good for a career 72.5 passer rating. He spent the recent offseason with the New Orleans Saints but didn’t make the regular-season roster.

“He was in a tough situation in Houston that didn’t work out for him, but I got to study him this preseason when he was in New Orleans and they have some similarities in their offense as ours,” said Shanahan. “He had some high praises from Sean Payton on him and I was excited that he was available.”

Injury updates: Shanahan said cornerbacks K’Waun Williams (shoulder), Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion protocol) will be day-to-day this week as the 49ers prepare to host the undefeated Rams on Sunday. Witherspoon did not play a defensive snap in the Monday night loss to the Packers.

Ward left in the fourth quarter leading to Aaron Rodgers targeting his replacement Greg Mabin, who was in coverage of Davante Adams on the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter.

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