49ers officially sign Josh Johnson as Purdy's new backup QB


The 49ers are bringing back a familiar face as Brock Purdy's backup quarterback -- 36-year-old veteran Josh Johnson.

On Tuesday, San Francisco officially announced it signed Johnson to a one-year deal. He will be with the team for the final five games of the regular season and playoffs.

Johnson, an Oakland native, has been a part of 14 different teams over 13 seasons since being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Johnson played for coach Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego from 2004-07, only to reunite with his college coach on the 49ers in 2012. He was cut before the 2012 NFL season began, but was brought back to San Francisco for short stints in 2014 and '20. He has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game for the 49ers.

He will serve an important role in an ever-changing 49ers quarterback room. Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, will be the 49ers' starting quarterback moving forward after veteran Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending broken foot in San Francisco's 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Garoppolo, of course, took the reins from Trey Lance in Week 2 after the 22-year-old quarterback endured a season-ending leg injury of his own.

"Just having him here in 2020 for that last month of the year, we got to see a lot of him just as a player, which we like the player, but more importantly, we really like the guy," coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on a conference call Monday. "I think that's why he has been around for so long and so many places continue to bring him back because he is a natural leader.


"Guys like playing with him, guys like playing around him, he has a skillset that can go in and give you a chance to win and a person we really believe in and we feel fortunate to get him back here."

Johnson appeared in four games last season for the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. He started one game for Baltimore and threw for 304 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 28-of-40 passing in a 41-21 loss.

RELATED: What we learned as Purdy replaces injured Jimmy G, fuels win

Johnson only has nine career NFL starts to his name but is known to be a leader in every locker room he joins. Purdy, the 22-year-old rookie, will welcome all the wisdom he can get his hands on heading into his first career NFL start on Sunday against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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