Quarterback C.J. Beathard put the 49ers in position to win Monday night at Lambeau Field.
But like everyone else in a position to contribute, he did not do enough to prevent the 49ers from a 33-30 gut-punch of a loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
“I thought C.J. did some real good things. C.J., he was one of the reasons that I thought we had a chance to win that game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan after reviewing the game film.
“He made some big plays throughout the game, kept the chains moving a number of times for us. There’s a couple of plays at the end that I know he’d like to have back where he had a couple of opportunities that he missed. But he also had a few opportunities early in the game that he made which was one of the reasons we were in the position that we were.”
The most glaring physical mistake came on a third-and-4 from the Green Bay 24 early in the fourth quarter. Tight end George Kittle was all alone on the right side of the field for an easy first down, but Beathard overthrew him. The 49ers settled for Robbie Gould’s 43-yard field goal.
Beathard completed 16 of 23 pass attempts for 245 yards with two touchdown passes to Marquise Goodwin and one interception for a passer rating of 115.3.
On a third-and-3 situation from the Green Bay 46 with approximately a minute remaining in regulation of a tie game, Beathard tried to hit Goodwin deep against an all-out blitz. His pass was underthrown and intercepted. The interception itself was not a big deal, considering it came on third down and penned the Packers back at the 10-yard line. But Beathard likely could have hit Kittle with a quick pass for the first down.
“I was proud of how he played,” Shanahan said of Beathard. “But there’s definitely things he can learn from and I think he will. It’s just that’s what goes with playing in this league. You’ve got to take all of the lessons you learn, whether good or bad, and you’ve got to make sure you turn them into positives and hopefully they can make you a better player.”
The 49ers open the week to face the Los Angeles Rams with three players in their defensive backfield listed as day-to-day with injuries coming out of Monday’s game, Shanahan said.
Starting right cornerback Jimmie Ward, who left the game for the final two possessions with an aggravation of a hamstring injury, is questionable. Cornerback Greg Mabin replaced Ward late in the game and gave up four crucial pass plays, including a 16-yard Rodgers-to-Davante Adams touchdown.
Nickel back K’Waun Wiliams sustained a shoulder injury, and reserve cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was placed in the concussion protocol, Shanahan said. Witherspoon, a second-year pro, sustained a concussion in an October 2017 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
This ‘n’ that
While a good portion of Shanahan’s staff began work on Monday to face the Los Angeles Rams, Shanahan said he waited until after the game to get started.
“You try to get ahead, spend all that Monday doing some of that stuff,” Shanahan said. “Usually play-callers like myself, I don’t do much of that on Mondays because I only want to think of one defense for the game.”
The team arrived back to the Bay Area around 4 a.m. Tuesday and spent the rest of the day at their offices in Santa Clara. . .
The plan for linebacker and special teams player Dekoda Watson is to begin practicing next Monday after the game against the Rams, Shanahan said. Watson has been on injured reserve since the beginning of the season with a hamstring injury. He could be eligible to play in the Nov. 1 game against the Raiders. . .
The 49ers may not have to do as much preparation of the basics to face the Rams because of the familiarity that exists among the coaching staffs.
Rams coach Sean McVay worked under Shanahan while both men served on the staff of Shanahan’s father, Mike. Because the offensive schemes are similar, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has knowledge of the Rams system. And Kyle Shanahan knows about Wade Phillips’ defense from facing him through the years.
“It’s both sides. Sean and I definitely have familiarity with him, and Saleh does too because our offenses do some similar things,” Shanahan said. “I have more familiarity with Wade also and what he’s done over the years. So there’s not many secrets to either side of us. We have to line up and we have to play well.”