Certainly, it’s not the kind of 49ers rumor you’d expect to crop up at this point of the NFL season, but it happened: San Francisco hosted a workout on Tuesday for journeyman quarterback Chris Streveler, who helped Winnipeg to the 2019 Canadian Football League championship and has bounced around the NFL since, with appearances for the Cardinals and Jets.
The news came via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who wrote on Twitter/X: “Free agent quarterback Chris Streveler is working out for the #49ers today, per source.”
Free agent quarterback Chris Streveler is working out for the #49ers today, per source.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 14, 2023
Of course, a workout for a third-string quarterback in mid-November does not mean anything’s wrong with the duo of starter Brock Purdy and backup Sam Darnold, who could be the best 1-2 punch in the NFL in terms of quarterback depth. Purdy had a huge bounce-back game in Week 10 against Jacksonville with 296 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception.
The case for looking at, and possibly signing Streveler for the practice squad more likely to do with his run/pass style of play and what coach Kyle Shanahan wants to see in practice. Two of the 49ers bigger challenges down the stretch of the season figure to be excellent running quarterbacks, with the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts in Week 13 and Lamar Jackson of the Ravens in Week 16.
No 49ers Rumors of QB Controversy This Year
If there is a 49ers rumor about adding Chris Streveler, then, that’s likely the reason. This is not 2022, when the 49ers cycled through three quarterbacks, finally giving Purdy the job.
When Streveler played for two seasons in the Canadian Football League, he was used just as often in the run game as in the pass game. In his first season, splitting time as part of a quarterback platoon, he completed 86 passes for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns but also ran 77 times for 441 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In his second season, Winipeg’s championship year, Streveler again platooned and threw for 1,554 yards but had 14 interceptions. He was effective as a runner, with 726 yards on 127 carries, scoring 12 touchdowns. He had a touchdown pass, ran for 30 yards and caught a pass to help the Jets in the Grey Cup championship game.
Since then, Streveler has bounced between the Cardinals, where he spent two years on the bench but made seven appearances, and the Jets, where he played two games and had the only start of his career. In that game, Streveler was 10-15 passing for 90 yards, and ran for 54 yards on nine carries, but the Jets scored just three points in a 19-3 Week 15 loss to the Jaguars.
Darnold Ranked Among Top Backups in the NFL
Certainly, there is no unhappiness with Sam Darnold, no cause for 49ers rumors about replacing him.
Darnold was the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and shuffled between two bad teams, the Jets and Panthers, before signing with San Francisco.
In all, Darnold had a 21-34 record in five seasons, and a career quarterback rating of 78.2 He has thrown 61 touchdowns and 55 interceptions in the NFL. Last month, on the eve of the opening of the season, CBS Sports rated the top backup quarterbacks in the league, and Darnold was No. 3.
When Brock Purdy was dealing with a possible concussion, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky noted that the 49ers would be “fine” with Darnold.
“I think they will be just fine with Sam Darnold,” he said. “I have constantly believed that if Sam Darnold was placed on a team that is similar to San Francisco, he would play worthy of that top draft pick. This young man has been weathered, he has been through it all, he is the most talented quarterback, physically, that Kyle Shanahan has had in that offense, at least since Matt Ryan.”