Third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard has been inactive all season. Fans probably hope that remains the case because it would seemingly mean the San Francisco 49ers' starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, remained healthy and played a full season for the first time in his NFL career.

Of course, Beathard's game-day status isn't necessarily dependent on the health of the quarterbacks. The 49ers have come close to making Beathard their 46th active player at least a couple of times this season because of injuries. The third-year quarterback would simply be the next player up should there be too many ailing players.

Beathard was nearly among the active players during Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. That was dependent on running back Raheem Mostert's status. Mostert ended up being active, so Beathard remained sidelined.

What if Beathard was active in a game? What would he do? Would the quarterback just stand around and hold a clipboard? If needed, could he help a few other players warm up on the sideline? Perhaps. But maybe his role would involve more.

If active, Beathard might actually have to be ready to head into the game and hit somebody or get hit himself.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked on Friday if he ever considered having Beathard play special teams in games.

"Definitely," Shanahan responded. "Yeah, I think we were two guys away from that. You never dress the third quarterback, but if the other option is dressing 45 people, we would definitely dress 46 before doing that, and that would be C.J.

"The neat thing about dressing C.J. is he could help us on special teams. He's got the attitude, he knows how to do it, and he would give it (his) all. You guys see how he plays quarterback.

"He could help us on special teams, so if it ever came to that, we would definitely get him in there."

What exactly would Beathard's role on special teams be if he was ever given the opportunity?

"Punt returner, kick returner," Shanahan joked while smiling. "Backup kicker. No, it probably wouldn't be a huge one, but we would use him if he was up."

Watch out, Chase McLaughlin. Beathard might be coming for your job.