Kyle Shanahan explains why Nick Mullens was pulled in loss vs. Cowboys
Shanahan pulled Mullens because of an injury, no sales originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Nick Mullens was drawn late in the 49ers' 41-33 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but not necessarily because of his poor play up until that point. Rather, it was an injury-related decision to replace him with C. J. Beathard.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan stated after the loss that Mullens was pulled because he lost the feeling in his arm - not because he made three very costly turns.
After a three in the 49ers' first offensive possession, Mullens was no better in the second. He didn't protect the ball and fumbled down in third place, giving the ball to the Cowboys at San Francisco's own 24-yard line. Five games later, Dallas led 14-0.
Then, in the second half, Mullens threw not one, but two interceptions, with the game pending. After his second intercept, he was replaced by Beathard, who was owned, and while Shanahan said he got the correct readings, he also continued to emphasize how damaging sales can be.
Beathard was far better than the man he was replacing, albeit in very limited action. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, the vast majority of which received a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass for Kendrick Bourne after time ran out.
RELATED: Aiyuk Overtakes Deebo, Breaking the 49er Rookie Reception Record
When asked if Beathard's later success gave him the upper hand to start the 49ers game against the Arizona Cardinals next week, Shanahan was noncommittal.
"We'll see," said Shanahan. "I didn't think about it. I'll definitely let Nick and C.J. know first."
With the 49ers virtually mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after their Sunday defeat, the only mystery to San Francisco is who will be the focus of the last two games.
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C. J. Beathard
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