GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Erik Magnuson found out 90 minutes before kickoff Sunday that he would start in place of injured 49ers center Weston Richburg.
Hours later, the second-year pro stood in front of his locker after the 49ers’ 18-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with his eyes red, disappointed with his execution of a basic shotgun snap that prevented quarterback C.J. Beathard from a final attempt to move the team in field-goal range.
“[The] worst nightmare of playing center is to have a bad snap and hurt the team like that,” Magnuson said after his third NFL start -- his first at center. “It’s nothing I ever want to happen again, that’s for sure.”
The 49ers had the ball with seven seconds remaining in regulation at the Arizona 45-yard line. Beathard would have needed to make a quick completion for about 10 yards to give kicker Robbie Gould a shot at a game-tying field-goal try.
But Magnuson’s snap sailed high over Beathard’s head. Beathard picked the ball up about 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage and threw an incomplete pass as time expired.
“I felt it slip when it came out my hand,” Magnuson said. “But I don’t know how bad it is. It could be a foot high, it could be 10 feet high. I don’t know. I just feel it slip. Obviously, I saw the play on the big board, but that was the only way I even knew.”
Magnuson has played tackle, guard and center since signing with the 49ers as an undrafted rookie last year from Michigan. He played guard and tackle in college before the 49ers began working him at center a year ago, and his previous two NFL starts came at right tackle last season.