Source: 49ers sign QB Kurt Benkert to practice squad, promote Marlon Mack

Out of a list of five candidates, Kurt Benkert separated himself to win the opportunity to become the 49ers’ No. 3 quarterback.

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

San Francisco made a couple of roster moves, adding Benkert and moving up Marlon Mack to the 49ers’ 53-man 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 on Monday to repair a fractured right ankle and ligament damage.

The addition of Mack 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 primarily on the Falcons’ practice squad, he signed with the Green Bay Packers last year.

He saw his only regular-season NFL game action on Dec. 12, when he took two kneel downs at the end of a Packers victory over the Chicago Bears. Green Bay released him in June.

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

Mack spent the past week on the 49ers’ practice squad, and now he will be active for games due to the injuries the 49ers have already experienced at running back.


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

But he sustained a torn Achilles in the opener of the 2020 season and has not 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 in worse shape after Lance injury?

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

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

Davis-Price sustained a high-ankle sprain in his NFL debut on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Davis-Price is expected to miss “a few weeks.”

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