49ers camp: Beathard thumb injury again could clear up QB race

SANTA CLARA — And the first 49ers quarterback hurt at an injury-marred training camp is … not Jimmy Garoppolo.

C.J. Beathard watched Tuesday’s practice with a wrap — possibly a soft cast — on his right thumb, which he banged into a helmet on his final play of Saturday night’s exhibition opener.

A 49ers spokesman called it a “sore” thumb, and although there was no metion of it being a long-term issue, this appears a significant setback in Beathard’s bid to beat out Nick Mullens as Garoppolo’s primary backup.

Beathard repeatedly has injured that right thumb and/or wrist, triggering quarterback changes. As a rookie in 2017, he hurt it against the New York Giants, started the ensuing game and then gave way for Garoppolo’s 49ers debut. Beathard’s thumb and wrist got hurt last Sept. 28 against the Arizona Cardinals, opening the door for Mullens to start the final eight games.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard speaks during a press conference on Oct. 30, 2018, in Santa Clara. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

Mullens started and played the first half of Saturday’s 17-9 win over the Cowboys, then completed 6-of-9 passes in Tuesday’s first practice since then.

Beathard was 13-of-17 for 141 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a sack Saturday night. He watched Tuesday’s practice with a cap on while listening to play calls with his helmet raised against his ear. Rookie Wilton Speight took his first full-team snaps and was 3-of-3 in red zone action.

Garoppolo, meanwhile, stilllooks sharp physically in his comeback from knee reconstruction, and he’s slated to start Monday night’s exhibition at Denver, presuming all goes well in this week’s practices, including joint sessions Friday and Saturday against the Broncos.

Garoppolo was 10-of-15 in 11-on-11 action Tuesday, starting with a touchdown to Marquise Goodwin and another later to Dante Pettis, who broke free past Richard Sherman down the right sideline. The starting offense still has its occasional hiccups, including miscommunication with Tevin Coleman as a backfield target, although he did later catch a couple shovel passes from Garoppolo.


Tight end George Kittle missed his first practice of training camp because of calf tightness. Kittle was among 31 players the 49ers kept out of action Saturday night.

Ross Dwelley lined up as the first-string tight end and caught two wobbly passes from Garoppolo.


Rookie Jalen Hurd followed up Saturday’s two-touchdown debut with several impressive receptions from the slot. He scored a would-be touchdown on Speight’s final pass, then beat D.J. Reed for a pair of catches in a four-play sequence with Mullens, who capped practice by overthrowing Hurd down the sideline.


Arik Armstrong returned from a calf strain and lined up on the first-team defensive line with DeForest Buckner, Sheldon Day and Solomon Thomas. Still out are Dee Ford (knee), Nick Bosa (ankle), Ronald Blair (groin) and D.J. Jones (left knee). The second-string line featured Kentavius Street, Jullian Taylor, Kevin Givens and Damontre Moore.


Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel was excused for personal …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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