Source: 49ers sign QB Kurt Benkert to coach team, promote Marlon Mack

Source: 49ers sign QB Kurt Benkert to coach team, promote Marlon Mack

Out of a shortlist of five candidates, Kurt Benkert split to earn the opportunity to become the No. 3 quarterback for the 49ers.

The 49ers signed Benkert to the practice squad on Tuesday and for a spot in line behind starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie backup Brock Purdy.

San Francisco made some roster changes, adding Benkert and moving Marlon Mack up the 49ers roster, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 49ers were forced to add a third quarterback after starter Trey Lance underwent season-ending surgery Monday to repair a broken right ankle and ligament damage.

Mack’s addition became necessary after the 49ers lost running backs Elijah Mitchell and Ty Davis-Price to injuries in the first two games of the season.

Benkert, 27, originally entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. After three seasons spent mostly on the Falcons’ practice squad, he signed with the Packers of Green Bay last year.

He saw his only regular season game in the NFL on December 12, when he took a knee twice at the end of a Packers win over the Chicago Bears. Green Bay released him in June.

Benkert had his second try with the 49ers in two weeks on Tuesday. Mike Glennon, Kevin Hogan, AJ McCarron and Garrett Gilbert were the other quarterbacks who took part in the tryout at the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara.

Mack spent the last week on the 49ers’ practice squad, and now he’ll be active for games due to injuries the 49ers have already suffered to running back.

Mack, 26, was the Indianapolis Colts’ leading running back in 2018 and 2019, when he rushed for 1,999 yards and 17 touchdowns in those two seasons.

But he suffered an Achilles tear in the 2020 season opener and hasn’t been the same.

Last season, he carried just 28 times for 101 yards and no touchdowns in six games for the Colts.

RELATED: 49ers Overreactions: Is Team Worse After Lance Injury?

The Houston Texans released Mack before the start of the regular season after going for 90 yards on 21 preseason carries.

Mitchell is expected to be available for the 49ers in the second half of the season after suffering an MCL injury to his right knee in the season opener against the Chicago Bears.

Davis-Price suffered a sprained ankle in his NFL debut on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Davis-Price should miss “a few weeks.”

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