After the San Francisco 49ers activated wide receiver Michael Crabtree to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, the team released third-string quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Crabtree returned to practice on November 5 and he is expected to start against the St. Louis Rams in Week 13.
Bethel-Thompson was claimed off waivers by the 49ers on October 9, but he has been inactive the past six games. Before that he was with the Minnesota Vikings and he also had a stint with the Niners in 2011 as a member of the practice squad. He is from San Francisco and attended Sacramento State for three years. He has also played in the Arena Football League (San Jose Sabercats) and UFL (Sacramento Mountain Lions).
With the 49ers releasing their third-string quarterback to make room for Crabtree, the offense only has Colt McCoy as a backup on the depth chart. Don’t expect San Francisco to go out and find a third-string QB anytime soon. In fact, the team will likely go with just Colin Kaepernick and McCoy for the rest of the season, unless one gets injured. Plus, the 49ers don’t have any open roster spots nor do they want to depart anytime soon with any of the players currently on the roster.
The third-string quarterback position has been a carousel this season. San Francisco has released five quarterbacks since August 26. All of the quarterbacks waived were signed to be the third-string on the roster. First released was Scott Tolzien, followed by Seneca Wallace, B.J. Daniels and John Skelton. So it’s no surprise that Bethel-Thompson was waived.
There is a good chance Bethel-Thompson will be claimed by a team off waivers. All of the other quarterbacks released by the 49ers this season have found homes with other teams. Tolzien has started the past two games for the Green Bay Packers filling in for Aaron Rodgers. He could get his third straight start on Thanksgiving. Wallace also started a game for the Packers in place of Rodgers this season. However, his season ended two days later after he was placed on injured reserve. Daniels signed with the Seattle Seahawks, while Skelton is now with the Tennessee Titans.