The San Francisco 49ers are on the verge of signing veteran NFL quarterback Josh Johnson. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reported Johnson will start out on the Niners practice squad after the quarterback completes the series of COVID-19 testing.
“Addendum: League source says 49ers are signing QB Josh Johnson to the practice squad,” Barrows noted on Twitter. “He’ll start getting COVID-19 testing this week so he can take part in next week’s practices. …Shanahan confirms that the plan is to sign QB Josh Johnson to the practice squad. The hope is that he’d be able to take part in Wednesday’s practice.”
Johnson last played in the NFL for Washington in 2018 where he started three games. The quarterback finished with 590 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 120 rushing yards along with another touchdown. Johnson had a brief stint with the 49ers in 2014, and the quarterback also spent time with the Buccaneers, Browns and Bengals.
The quarterback also spent time in the XFL before it was shutdown. Johnson gives 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan more of a dual-threat option at quarterback, and it will be interesting to see if he utilizes his unique skill set at some point this season.
Neither Mullens or Beathard Have a Firm Grasp on the 49ers Starting QB Position in Garoppolo’s Absence
With Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined, the 49ers turned to Nick Mullens as the team’s starting quarterback, but he has not done a lot to distance himself from C.J. Beathard. Mullens finished with 291 yards, one touchdown and an interception while completing 62 percent of his passes against the Packers. The Niners offense sputtered for much of the night, but to Mullens credit, the team was without the majority of their receivers with either injuries or due to COVID-19 testing.
“We didn’t execute. I felt like we could have played a lot better than we did,” Mullens noted after the 49ers’ loss to the Packers, per 49ers.com. “Felt like we had a lot of really good plays called that gave us a lot of opportunities, and for whatever reason, we didn’t connect. I’m excited to go back and watch that film because I really do, I feel like we could have got after those guys and done some good things. That’s on the players and you just hope to go out there and do your best and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Johnson is unlikely to emerge as the 49ers’ quarterback of the future, but he has proven to be a capable backup during his previous stops. It should not be ruled out that Johnson could fill-in at quarterback in Garoppolo’s absence if Mullens or Beathard are unable to take a firm grasp of the position.
The 49ers Are Hopeful Jimmy G Can Return in December
The 49ers provided a more positive update on Garoppolo as the quarterback will not have surgery on his ankle. There had been some speculation that Garoppolo could miss the rest of the season, but it appears there is hope that the quarterback can return to the field in December.
“Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo will not have surgery on his ankle,” Barrows reported on Twitter. “He’ll be reevaluated in 4-6 weeks. The hope is that he can return to the field in late December.”