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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan recounts the night C.J. Beathard learned of his brother’s death

Dec 29, 2019 at 1:17 PM--

A week after learning that his younger brother, Clayton, had been fatally stabbed, and as his San Francisco 49ers teammates prepared to face the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback C.J. Beathard delivered a heartfelt eulogy at the funeral service in Franklin, Tennessee.

Beathard was understandably emotional while speaking about his beloved brother on Saturday. You can watch and listen to his touching and, at times, humorous eulogy below, which begins at about the 32-minute mark.

Kyle Shanahan won't often answer his phone the night before a game, the head coach told Greg Papa during this week's interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. But he did so the night before the 49ers' Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

That's when Shanahan learned the devastating news surrounding the Beathard family's loss.

"He didn't know what to do. He had just found out at like 2 (a.m.)," Shanahan said of his quarterback, "and he found out that his brother was in the hospital fighting for his life. And then he found out at about 3 (a.m.) that he didn't make it so he called me and I just ran up there and spent some time with him, waited until some other people got there and we could get it all situated what we could do."

That's when Shanahan told Beathard to leave the team to be with his family in Tennessee. Two days later, the head coach spoke on the phone with his quarterback and told him to remain with his family for the week and only return when he was ready.

"It was a very sad and tough situation to be in that I think everyone understands," Shanahan added.

Eventually, the suspect in the crime was arrested.

Beathard had told Shanahan to beat the Rams for him. The 49ers did, but the coach didn't relay the quarterback's request to his team until after the win.

"I didn't want to be Johnny Coach, saying something like that," Shanahan said. "'C.J. told us to go win one for him,' because it belittles what happened. That game doesn't matter at all compared to C.J.'s brother. There's no way I would have said that to the team before.

"But the fact that they did get it done, and then to be able to talk about it; those guys know C.J., so when I told them that C.J. said that, they know exactly what C.J. said and that C.J. meant that big-time.

"He was hurting, but that was important to him, so it was really cool to be able to tell the team that after they did do something like that. I know it didn't help any of the pain, but at least we did something he asked us to do."

You can watch the entire interview with Shanahan below.

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