C.J. Beathard skipping Sunday's 49ers training camp — for a good reason


SANTA CLARA -- San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback C.J. Beathard had a very good reason to miss Sunday’s practice, but he didn’t want to ask. 

Head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t give him the option not to, and told him he wanted to fly out on the team's off day Saturday to watch his grandfather, former football executive Bobby Beathard, get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Beathard's flight won't return in time for the start of practice on Sunday, according to Shanahan.

“I know it means a lot to him, not that he’d ever tell us,” Shanahan said after practice on Wednesday.  “He definitely didn’t ask, and then when I told him he had to go -- that he didn’t have a choice -- then he told us how thankful he was.”

Beathard had no problem telling reporters when asked on Wednesday. 

“It means a lot,” Beathard said. “My grandpa is one of my biggest, if not the biggest role model in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for him, so it means a lot [Shanahan] allowed me to go support him and see him get inducted. That’s a pretty big deal.”

The elder Beathard spent 33 years in NFL front offices, and won four Super Bowls. Two came as the director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s, and two more during his stint as Washington general manager from 1978-1989. He also served as general manager of the then-San Diego Chargers from 1990-2000, building the team that lost the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX. 

The younger Beathard is entering his second season with the 49ers, his first full campaign as Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup. The 2017 third-round pick started five games for San Francisco during his rookie year, leading the team to its first victory of the season.

The two still talk regularly, and C.J. fills his grandfather in on the details of his career. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, either, as the signal-caller said his role model is keeping his excitement about his upcoming induction close to the vest. 

“That’s the funny thing. He’s so humble,” Beathard told reporters. “He’s excited, I’m sure, but if it were up to him, he probably wouldn’t want anybody to know.”

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Beathard would miss Saturday's practice. The 49ers do not practice on Saturday, but practice on Sunday. This article has been updated to reflect that. 

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