According the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, the 49ers just claimed quarterback Scott Tolzien. You remember Tolzien. He was the Chargers’ quarterback who carved up the Niners second and third stringers Thursday night.
In other news, according to the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, the 49ers have also signed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad.
So now the 49ers have Alex Smith and three rookies backing him up. And as good as Tolzien looked against the 49ers Thursday night, he’ll probably be the third-string QB behind Colin Kaepernick, because Tolzien has to learn the whole playbook.
Adding another rookie quarterback is no threat to Alex Smith and his starting job, but it is a semi-threat to Colin Kaepernick. Tolzien is a real talent and he played well this preseason (83.5 QB rating), while Kaepernick did not play so well (23.9 QB rating). The coaching staff says they’re confident in Kaepernick, but once Tolzien picks up the playbook he could seriously contend for the backup quarterback job.
Kaepernick won’t have to worry about Bethel-Thompson, though, who will be on the practice squad with Joe Hastings, Konrad Reuland, Chase Beeler, and Cory Nelms.
The Niners should name three more practice squad players soon, and I’ll give you a full list when they do, but I expect Ronald Johnson to be one of those guys and Derek Hall to be another. Also, I’m guessing the 49ers will move Keaton Kristick to the practice squad to make room for Tolzien on the 53-man roster.
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