From a list of five candidates, Kurt Benkert broke away for the chance to become the 49ers’ number 3 quarterback.
The 49ers signed Benkert to the practice squad on Tuesday and for a spot in line behind starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie backup Brock Purdy.
San Francisco made a few roster moves, Benkert added, and moved Marlon Mack up to the 49ers’ roster, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The 49ers were forced to add a third quarterback after starter Trey Lance underwent season-end surgery Monday to repair a broken right ankle and ligament damage.
Mack’s addition became necessary after the 49ers lost running backs Elijah Mitchell and Ty Davis-Price to injuries in the first two games of the season.
Benkert, 27, originally entered the NFL as an unwritten rookie with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. After spending three seasons mostly on the Falcons’ training squad, he signed with the Green Bay Packers last year.
He saw his only regular-season NFL game on December 12, when he knelt twice at the end of a Packers win over the Chicago Bears. Green Bay released him in June.
Benkert took part in his second tryout with the 49ers in two weeks on Tuesday. Mike Glennon, Kevin Hogan, AJ McCarron and Garrett Gilbert were the other quarterbacks who took part in the tryout at the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara.
Mack spent the past week on the 49ers’ training squad and now he will be active for games due to the injuries the 49ers have already sustained in their run back.
Mack, 26, was the top Indianapolis Colts player in 2018 and 2019, racking up 1,999 yards and 17 touchdowns in those two seasons.
But he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the 2020 season opener and hasn’t been the same.
Last season, he contributed just 28 times for 101 yards and no touchdowns in six games for the Colts.
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The Houston Texans released Mack before the start of the regular season after rushing 90 yards on 21 carries in the preseason.
Mitchell is expected to be available for the 49ers in the second half of the season after sustaining an MCL injury to his right knee in the season opener against the Chicago Bears.
Davis-Price suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday during his NFL debut against the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Davis-Price is expected to miss “a few weeks.”
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