Around the NFL  

 

Jim Harbaugh: Blaine Gabbert is 49ers' backup QB

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh once again will not shake up the backup quarterback order for the pivotal third game, despite Blaine Gabbert's abysmal preseason.

"Blaine is that guy right now," Harbaugh said Friday of the No. 2 quarterback, per The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows.

In two preseason games, Gabbert is a combined 11-of-25 passing for 60 yards (2.4 yards per pass) with two interceptions, a 17.9 passer rating and -- like every 49ers QB -- a goose egg in the touchdown column.

The problem for Harbaugh is that neither of the other backups on the roster have looked any better. Josh Johnson has two fumbles, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson has two picks.

"I don't judge it off just those," Harbaugh said of the bleak statistics. "I've been pretty clear what I thought we needed to get better as, as a unit. Team-oriented offense that has precision and plays well together, all 11, and that's what we're going to be striving for."

Harbaugh told reporters he would not look outside the organization for a backup quarterback.

"We've had a good week," he said. "Feel like we made progress. Hopefully, that progress shows up on Sunday."

Last week he spoke similarly optimistic about Gabbert, who then proceeded to raise his per attempt average by a whopping 1.1 yards.

We note the 49ers' backup quarterback position, because as it stands now, if Colin Kaepernick goes down, the Niners are sunk. Harbaugh can claim at the moment that he's got his backup quarterback on his roster, but things can change once cuts start.

For a team built to win now, like the 49ers, to chance a ruined season based on one injury isn't comforting.

The Around the League Podcast AFC Season Preview is here. You're welcome.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15