CJ Beathard

NFC Notes: Keenum, Garoppolo, Beathard, Hyde, McCloughan

Case Keenum and the Vikings are now 7-2 after beating a tough Redskins squad today on the road. The third-string quarterback has been of the bigger surprise of stories of the season, especially with his play of late. Apart from leading his team to victory in their last five contests, the 29 year-old signal caller has thrown for 8 touchdowns during that stretch and collected his second 300 yard game of the season during today’s win.

Keenum’s inspiring play of late has kept him ahead of the now healthy Teddy Bridgewater on the depth chart and has Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports saying that the quarterback deserves to be re-signed by the team this season’s end. In a column published tonight, the veteran NFL analyst suggests that Keenum should be the priority of the Vikings three upcoming free agent QB’s (Keenum, Bridgewater and Sam Bradford) because of the other two quarterback’s history of injury issues.

La Canfora notes that Keenum brings a sense of mobility to the position that the team won’t have in the other signal callers and just seems to be getting better as he continues to get playing time. It’s a story that you couldn’t imagine seeing at the start of the offseason, but makes sense now considering the circumstances that have unfolded in Minnesota. There’s a ton of talent that could become available this offseason, but Keenum has made his case to the Vikings for why he should get some serious consideration as a legitimate starting option moving forward.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo almost made his San Francisco debut into today’s win over the Giants after starting quarterback C.J. Beathard injured his thumb. However, the rookie signal caller toughed out the injury and was able to finish off the victory. While the 49ers are now no longer winless, the team does intend to start their newly acquired QB in Week 12, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. But, head coach Kyle Shanahan offered a different view of the situation in his postgame press conference. “No, that never was the plan,” the first year head coach told the media. “As I told you guys, I’m taking it week by week so I don’t have to really pause on everything. I’m looking forward to seeing our guys tomorrow so we can review this and coach up. Take a team photo and try to get away from each other for a while. We’ll continue to work with Jimmy over the bye week here and there. We’ll have a bonus practice next Monday to get everyone loose and we’ll see where it goes from there. It’s not just about C.J. or just about Jimmy, there’s a lot of things that go into it,” (via Schefter). It remains to seen what will unfold regarding the 49ers QB depth chart after the team’s bye in Week 11, but there’s no doubt that Garoppolo is getting more comfortable in the offense and was ready to go if Beathard wasn’t able to continue playing.
  • In other 49ers news, running back Carlos Hyde went on the record before today’s win to address his upcoming free agency. At least for now the lead back doesn’t want to discuss a deal with his current team, according to Cam Inman of The Mercury News“I spoke to my agent about it, but I told him I don’t want to talk about contract extensions or anything like that right now,” Hyde said Thursday. “I want to focus on getting our first win, finishing the season off. I told him if we get to that point, then we can talk about it.” Now even though San Francisco is in the win column, it would be a lot to expect a change in heart from the 26 year-old. Hyde could be in line for a solid contract from his current franchise or potentially another RB needy team. The fourth-year back has hasn’t broke the 100 yard marker in any game this season, but has managed to put up decent numbers in an offense without a reliable passing game. He’s just one of many running backs available on the current list of 2018 Free Agents.
  • In off the field news, former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is set to have his grievance hearing on December 18, according to Pro Football Talk. McCloughan has filed the lawsuit because he wants to be paid the remainder of the balance left on his contract. Washington argues that they should not pay their former G.M. because he was fired for alcohol abuse.

Extra Points: Lions, Packers, Draft, Bucs

UCLA pass rusher Takkarist McKinley visited the Lions this week, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). As a result of the shoulder surgery he underwent in March, McKinley could be on the shelf until at least July. Nevertheless, he still has a realistic chance to end up a first-round pick after breaking out last season with 10 sacks. The Lions finished with a paltry 26 – the fewest in the NFC and the second-worst mark in the NFL.

  • After several years of superb drafting, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has slumped recently, writes Ryan Wood of USA Today. For instance, of the 21 players Thompson selected from 2011-13, only five are still Green Bay’s roster. Moreover, Thompson has found just three Pro Bowlers over the past seven years – a far cry from the seven he discovered during his first half-decade on the job.
  • UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, Iowa quarterback CJ Beathard and Ashland tight end Adam Sheehan are four draft prospects who could hear their names called quicker than expected, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Melifonwu and Davis are already potential first-rounders, so it’ll be particularly interesting to see how high they go.
  • Buccaneers receiver Josh Huff‘s arrest last November on an unlawful possession of a weapon charge won’t lead to jail time, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Huff, who accepted a conditional plea, will instead get six months’ probation. The Eagles released Huff after his arrest, which occurred in New Jersey, and he quickly signed with the Bucs. Huff ended up appearing in three of their games and catching three passes for 41 yards.