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Josh Rosen To Make Return To Arizona With 49ers

One-time first-round quarterback will serve as emergency backup

It's just another way a weird 2020 has shown itself -- Josh Rosen, the Cardinals' 2018 first-round pick and the hoped-for quarterback of the future before Kyler Murray, will be in uniform Saturday at State Farm Stadium as the backup quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.

Rosen, mind you, was on Tampa Bay's practice squad all season up until Tuesday.

The Niners' year has been as forgettable even aside from COVID. But their QB situation has reached disaster proportions. Starter Jimmy Garappolo has missed almost the whole season with an ankle injury. Nick Mullens is done for the season after hurting his elbow last weekend. C.J. Beathard, who will be making his fourth appearance against the Cards, will get the start, but the hoped-for backup, practice squad QB Josh Johnson, had to go on the COVID list Tuesday.

That meant the Niners had to scramble. After the Broncos lost all four QBs on their roster one game because of COVID, the rules were changed to say a team could sign a QB off another team's practice squad and have him able to forgo the six days of COVID testing before participating. The reasoning was that the player would have already been going through daily testing.

So the Niners picked up Rosen. Rosen, traded to the Dolphins during the 2019 draft, was cut by Miami at the end of 2020 training camp. He landed with Tampa and his former QB coach/offensive coordinator from the Cardinals, Byron Leftwich. Now he's a Niner. The last time Rosen was at State Farm Stadium at the same time as the 49ers, he was firing a game-winning touchdown pass late to Christian Kirk (coincidentally, to beat Beathard, who started for San Francisco.)

Given that the 49ers are staying in Arizona, Rosen will come right to the same hotel in which he spent 2018 training camp, and practice right outside his original home NFL stadium.

Odd times indeed.

QB Josh Rosen in 2018.
QB Josh Rosen in 2018.