Third-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard, 27, delivered one of the best performances of his career as the 49ers stunned the Arizona Cardinals 20-12 on Saturday. The Cardinals, who were playing on their home field and targeting to secure a win for the playoffs, came out flat and the 49ers made the most out of that to claim a shock win on the road.
On December 21, 2019, Beathard lost his brother, who stabbed to death outside a Nashville bar. On December 21, 2020, Beathard was told that he would start against the Cardinals on Saturday. "It means more than I can really put into words," Beathard said, per ESPN.
"Everything that I've been through the last year and it being the year anniversary of my brother passing, it's just one of those things that you can't really put it into words. ... You can't write a script any different.
I couldn't handpick this to go the way it did." Before the game, Beathard's thinking was: "I was like, 'All right, it's been a year now so I can cut it.' "
Coach impressed with Beathard's performance
Beathard completed 13-of-22 passes for 182 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions against the Cardinals.
"You could feel during the week of practice, he came in on Wednesday when he first got his reps just so ready to go," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Beathard. "I think you could tell how hard they played for him, too.
I was very impressed with C.J. and very happy for him today." Coach Shanahan wasn't the only that dropped praise on Beathard as fullback Kyle Juszczyk did the same. "I've always been so inspired by C.J.," Juszczyk said.
"Just how this guy just grinds regardless of what's happened to him and the circumstances. This guy has gone through a lot in the last couple years. I felt like he was being unfairly judged for his first couple years in the league and just how tough it was to play as a rookie and a second-year guy with the roster we had at the time.
"When he got his opportunity like he did tonight, I felt like he was going to run with it. I'm sure he could tell you about all the plays that he'd like to play better. But I'll just tell you the guy inspires us so much and we are so happy to go out there and perform for him."