Josh Rosen’s time toiling in NFL purgatory is over — for now.
The San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday signed Rosen off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad to be their new backup quarterback, according to multiple reports, after Nick Mullens went down with an elbow injury that may require Tommy John surgery. C.J. Beathard will start for the 49ers on Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals. Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is eligible to practice but head coach Kyle Shanahan said his usual starter won’t play again this season.
Which means in the 49ers’ injury-riddled 2020 NFL season, Rosen is one step away from being back under center.
Rosen, still just 23 years old, is already on his fourth NFL team less than three years removed from being taken No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft. He made 14 appearances as a rookie, going 3-10 in 13 starts. He had 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and was sacked 45 times. The Cardinals had the No. 1 pick following that season and jumped at the chance to draft Kyler Murray, trading Rosen to the Miami Dolphins.
But the trade did not prove fruitful for Rosen. After starting the 2019 season as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup, Rosen was named the starter in Week 3 and started three games, losing all of them, before Fitzpatrick took over for the rest of the year.
The UCLA product, the fourth of five quarterbacks taken in that 2018 first round, was cut by the Dolphins in September after they took Tua Tagovailoa No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Rosen settled for joining Tampa Bay’s practice squad as the fourth-string QB behind Tom Brady.