San Francisco 49ers’ Backup, Third-String, & Emergency Quarterbacks

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP PhotoJed Jacobsohn)
(AP PhotoJed Jacobsohn)
BetMGM @BETMGM Jan 28, 2024, 9:46 PM

The San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback carousel was among the biggest storylines of the 2022-23 NFL season. After injuries to both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Purdy led the Niners to five regular-season wins and an appearance in the NFC Championship.

With Garoppolo and Lance elsewhere and Purdy as the unquestioned starter throughout the 2023-24 season, who are the 49ers’ other quarterbacks?

49ers’ Backup Quarterback

Sam Darnold is the current second-string quarterback. He signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract during the offseason. 

49ers’ Third-String Quarterback

Brandon Allen is the current third-string quarterback.

A former sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016, Allen is on his fifth NFL team. He signed with the 49ers in May after spending the previous three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

49ers’ Emergency Quarterback

Christian McCaffrey is presumably the Niners’ emergency, fourth-string quarterback. He warmed up during last year’s NFC Championship after Purdy and Josh Johnson suffered injuries.

This offseason, NFL owners passed a new rule allowing inactive quarterbacks to be pressed into mid-game service in the event of an unlucky series of injuries. The rule change is a direct result of what happened to the 49ers last season, and Allen’s current roster status is likely a result of the rule change. 

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk could also serve as a potential emergency quarterback for the 49ers in the event of a total disaster at quarterback. Juszczyk has taken snaps in gimmick formations but has never played quarterback at any level of football.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.