The San Francisco 49ers are down to two quarterbacks.
On Tuesday, August 31, the Niners said goodbye to 23 players as they moved toward their initial 53-man roster. One of those players was third-string signal caller Nate Sudfeld, who the team signed to a one-year deal on April 7.
“Nate Sudfeld was waived by the 49ers,” Madson tweeted. “He did not beat out Trey Lance for the backup QB job.”
While the latter part of the tweet was tongue in cheek, as perhaps not one person who follows the NFL with any regularity would have expected Sudfeld to win QB2 honors over the rookie phenom, the fact that Sudfeld was let go does come as something of a surprise.
Niners Will Only Carry 2 QBs, at Least For Now
The 27-year-old Sudfeld has had a moderately long career as a backup but has hardly set the world on fire after being selected out of Indiana University in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft by what is now known as the Washington Football Team.
After remaining inactive for his entire rookie season, Washington waived the 6-foot, 6-inch Sudfeld, who was promptly scooped up by the Philadelphia Eagles. He remained there for four seasons in a backup role. During his time in Philly, Sudfeld appeared in only four games, throwing for 188 yards and 1 touchdown on 25 of 37 passing, according to Pro Football Reference.
Nothing about Sudfeld’s performance throughout his five full years, and one preseason, in the league made it a guarantee the Niners would keep him. What makes his release on Tuesday surprising is that it leaves the 49ers with only two quarterbacks on the active roster just 12 days before their Week 1 matchup with the Lions in Detroit.
Niners Currently Have Only 1 Healthy QB on Roster
What makes the move to release Sudfeld more curious is that it comes just one day after Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Lance had suffered a broken bone in a finger on his throwing hand and would miss at least one week of action.
Lance suffered the injury during the Niners’ final preseason game on Sunday, August 29 — a 34-10 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders.