The 49ers used Matt Barkley as their No. 2 quarterback in their first preseason game, but they’ll go in a different direction against the Broncos this weekend.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that rookie C.J. Beathard will relieve Brian Hoyer after Hoyer and the first-team offense play somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 plays. The third-round pick went 7-of-11 for 101 yards and two touchdowns after entering the first preseason game in the second half.
Shanahan said earlier this month that Beathard was competing with Barkley, who was 10-of-17 for 168 yards last week, for the backup job.
Shanahan said after the draft that Beathard reminds him of Kirk Cousins, who played for Shanahan with the Redskins during his first two NFL seasons, and a performance that backs that up against Denver would be a big boost to Beathard’s chances of settling in as the next man up for the Niners.