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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan told C.J. Beathard he had to go to Canton for grandfather’s Hall of Fame induction

Aug 1, 2018 at 2:01 PM--

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback C.J. Beathard may miss Sunday's scheduled practice because of an order to get out of town.

The second-year quarterback had no intention of asking his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, if he could be in Canton, Ohio for his grandfather's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shanahan, however, already knew how important it was for Beathard to be there and didn't give his young quarterback a choice.

"I know it means a lot to him," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "He would never tell us, and he definitely didn't ask. Then when I told him he had to go, and he didn't have a choice, then he told us how thankful he was."

Beathard will travel to Canton on Saturday, which is a day off for the 49ers. He will fly back on Sunday morning and probably will not arrive in time for the team's scheduled 10:15 a.m. practice.

"He'll probably miss that practice that Sunday but it will be a good chance to get (quarterbacks) Nick (Mullens) and Jack (Heneghan) a few more reps," Shanahan explained.

So when former NFL executive Bobby Beathard is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, his grandson will be there. It means a lot to the young 49ers quarterback.

"My grandpa was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, role model in my life," Beathard shared after Wednesday's practice. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for him, so it means a lot for [Shanahan] allowing me to go, support him, and see him get inducted. It's a pretty big deal."

Beathard started five games for the 49ers during his rookie campaign. That ended when an injury sidelined him late in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. With the game already decided, Jimmy Garoppolo came in during the closing seconds of the contest and went on to start and win the five remaining games of the season.

Just like last year, Beathard entered the offseason as a backup but understands his role is to help the 49ers in any way that he can while continuing to learn from Garoppolo and Shanahan.

"The backup quarterback, you're only a play away from being in there, so you've got to prepare as if you are the guy," Beathard said. "God forbid something happen, that you are ready if that were to happen. That's where I'm at right now; trying to get better each and every day."

Garoppolo spent years as Tom Brady's backup in New England before he was given the opportunity to start following a trade to San Francisco. While there is the potential for Beathard to follow a similar path, the quarterback isn't looking at what might happen years down the road.

"Honestly, right now, I'm so focused on this season and this team right now that my mind is not even close to thinking about that right now," Beathard said. "I'm trying to get better where I'm at now, and that's all I can focus on, is where I'm at. Right now, I'm on the 49ers with a great team, great teammates, great coaching staff, and just trying to make the most of that to get better every day."

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