Davis would be fourth option

Davis would be fourth option


Rookie quarterback Nate Davis might be in serious competition for the 49ers’ No. 3 job with veteran Damon Huard, but there is little doubt Davis he would be Mike Singletary’s fourth option to enter a regular-season game.


It seems obvious to me that Davis wrapped up a roster spot with his play the past two weeks. The 49ers selected the kid in the fifth round because they wanted him. At this point, they can take no chance of losing him. They must keep him on the roster.


The only way the 49ers can place him on the practice squad is to release him and then hope no team claims him. Although it’s not a certainty Davis would get claimed. (Actually, teams around the league might get scared off from claiming Davis, figuring there has to be a reason the 49ers released him after showing so much promise on the field.) But I just don’t think the 49ers can afford to take the gamble.


Davis might be on the active roster in 2009, but they have no intention of working him into a game. They would be keeping him on the roster now with the intent that he can develop into somebody who will be ready for game action in 2010 or beyond.


Singletary’s praise of Davis‘ game Saturday against the Cowboys was lukewarm. Davis completed 10 of 15 passes for 132 yards. Afterward, Singletary noted that Davis did his work against a bunch of third stringers for the Cowboys.


And just read what Singletary said yesterday about Davis, and it’s pretty clear Singletary does not believe Davis is anywhere near ready to step on the field for a regular-season game.


“Nate continues to do a decent job,” Singletary said. “I think he’s settling down. I think the game is slowing down for him just a bit. He knows that once he’s in there that (offensive coordinator) Jimmy Raye kind of cuts back on a few things and allows him to run some plays that he feels he’ll have success with.


“And Nate has done a good job finding guys. That’s always good to see. I’m happy he’s having some success here and there in some of these games we play.”


So what becomes of Huard? Might the 49ers keep four quarterbacks on their roster?


Teams keep four quarterbacks if they have a promising young draft pick who has some potential but is not yet ready to play in a real game. If the 49ers have a lot of confidence in Shaun Hill and backup Alex Smith, then they will release or trade Huard.


Hill and Huard are the quarterbacks who are most consistent. The 49ers think they know what they’d be getting with them on the field. Smith and Davis are the players the 49ers believe have a lot of untapped potential. There is a greater fluctuation of how they might fare – with a greater possible upside.


If the 49ers are concerned about Hill and Smith – and their ability to remain healthy – they might feel as if they have no other choice but to keep four quarterbacks.


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