SANTA CLARA – The person in the role of Mitchell Trubisky during practice had a good day against the 49ers’ defense on Wednesday.
Undrafted rookie quarterback Nick Mullens from Southern Mississippi has spent the season on the 49ers’ practice squad. He is the de facto No. 3 quarterback for a team that has kept just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
With C.J. Beathard unable to practice Wednesday due to knee and hip issues, Mullens took all of the scout team snaps against the 49ers’ No. 1 defense to get them prepared to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.
“I like Nick, man,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He diced us up yesterday. He does a good job. Nick is a professional quarterback, so you’d expect nothing less from him.”
Mullens could be promoted to the 53-man roster to serve as Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup if Beathard is not cleared to play on Sunday. He said he studies the team’s game plan every week as if the call is going to come.
Until then, he will practice as the quarterback of the upcoming opponent to give the best look possible to ensure the 49ers’ defense is ready on game days for what it's going to face.
“I look at every opportunity as a chance for me to show the coaches I’m good enough to play,” Mullens said. “So for me, scout team is like game day for me, every practice, every rep. It’s a chance for me to get better as quarterback while helping the defense at the same time.”
Mullens saw limited action during the exhibition season before being assigned to the practice squad. He completed seven of 10 pass attempts for 58 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.