Why Beathard briefly replaced Mullens as 49ers QB in loss


Nick Mullens briefly was replaced by fellow 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard on a long third down during Sunday's 27-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Some thought Mullens was being pulled with the game out of reach, but he returned on the ensuing drive.

It turns out, Mullens simply had the wind knocked out of him and needed a few plays to recapture his breath.

"Yeah, I'm good. I couldn't breathe," Mullens said after the game. "I got the air kinda knocked out of me and so I was shaken up on that play and I had to come out. It is what it is, but I'm glad I got to go back in the game." 

Mullens completed 24 of his 38 pass attempts for 247 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions against New Orleans, as Jimmy Garoppolo remains on injured reserve while recovering from a nagging ankle injury. Beathard's only pass fell incomplete.

RELATED: Grades for 49ers' offense, defense in deflating loss to Saints

Clearly, the 49ers can't expect much out of either of the team's backup quarterbacks, leading many to speculate on potential replacements for Garoppolo after the season.

It remains to be seen whether Mullens or Beathard will be the 49ers' QB following their bye when they take on the Los Angeles Rams in Southern California in Week 12.

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