49ers need emergency quarterback option

With third-string signal caller McLeod Bethel-Thompson now on the practice squad, Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy are the only two quarterbacks on San Francisco’s 53-man roster heading into Sunday’s home game against the Rams.

So who would line up under center if something “freakish” happened to both Kaepernick and McCoy in the same game?

And no, head coach Jim Harbaugh can’t suit up — even if he wants to.

The most logical option would be wide receiver Anquan Boldin who won the Mr. Florida Award as a top quarterback in high school and later saw occasional action at the position while at Florida State most notably going 6-for-14 for 78 yards and a touchdown in the 2003 Sugar Bowl.

Boldin has previously served as the emergency quarterback with Arizona and Baltimore and his arm strength is visible during pre-game warm ups — though he’s never been pressed into action during an NFL game.

Star wideout Michael Crabtree also has prep experience at the helm. During his senior year at Carter High School in Dallas, Texas, Crabtree completed 45-of-100 passes for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns.

But beyond Boldin and Crabtree, it’s hard to find anyone else on the active roster with signal-calling experience and a significant understanding of Greg Roman’s offense.

Last year with No. 3 Scott Tolzien inactive on game days, wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams served as emergency quarterback options behind Kaepernick and Alex Smith. Both Ginn and Williams are now with other teams.

Thankfully the 49ers have never needed to insert one of their pass catchers at quarterback, yet it’s safe to say that in the event of an emergency, Harbaugh will still look to his receiving corps for help.


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