The San Francisco 49ers coached five quarterbacks on Tuesday, September 20: Kurt Benkert, Garrett Gilbert, Mike Glennon, Kevin Hogan and AJ McCarron.
Of the five, the Niners must have liked what they had seen of Benkert best and included him in the training squad after practice, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The 49ers needed a 3rd-string quarterback behind Brock Purdy and QB1 Jimmy Garoppolo after Trey Lance underwent season-ending surgery Monday to repair a broken right ankle and ligament damage.
Benkert split his college career, playing for East Carolina and the University of Virginia.
And after not being drafted in 2018, he ended up on the Atlanta practice team for his rookie year. He returned the following season but didn’t make it past the preseason after a toe injury put him in the IR. He returned to compete in 2020 but COVID-19 canceled the league’s preseason, meaning Benkert once again missed a chance to showcase his talent.
Nevertheless he Yes, really thought he had a chance to make the team’s final lineup after a stellar offseason at camp and all the hard work he put in.
After being cut by Green Bay in mid-June, Benkert waited on the phone hoping another team would call.
It was a week until the NFL kickoff and Benkert hadn’t heard the phone ring. He had a tryout with the Tennesee Titans in August, but nothing came of it.
While he waited, he continued his education and worked as a consultant for technology companies.
“I got a taste of life after football and it’s not that scary,” Benkert said after landing in San Francisco. “But at the same time I missed the shit and I’m happy to be back practicing, learning installations and going through the preparations for it.”