SANTA CLARA — San Francisco quarterbacks C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens will split time during the 49ers' preseason opener Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Kyle Shanahan isn't saying which one will start.
Shanahan told KNBR Radio in San Francisco that the reps have been even for Beathard and Mullens, who are competing to back up Jimmy Garoppolo. "I wouldn't say anyone has the edge, because I don't want to go there yet," Shanahan said.
Through 11 days of camp, Mullens has completed 65 of 102 pass attempts (63.7 percent), and Beathard has completed 55 of 95 (58.5 percent).
Both are entering their third season with the 49ers. Mullens was an undrafted free agent in 2017 who spent more than a full season playing free safety on the practice squad, while Beathard was a third-round draft pick in 2017.
Beathard has started 10 games with the 49ers, during which San Francisco went 1-9.
"He's got to really learn how to stay healthy," Shanahan said. "Sometimes, your biggest strength is your biggest weakness. C.J. is as tough and fearless as anyone I know. That's why he keeps his eyes down the field and why he can read coverages and get the ball to the right spot. But, sometimes you've got to be a little scared, or at least see that big guy coming to hit you so you can avoid him and protect yourself."
Beathard took a pounding during his five starts in 2018 and injured his right wrist. Mullens replaced Beathard in Week 9 against the Raiders and kept the starting job the rest of the season. The team went 3-5 with him at the helm.
"Everything I was doing last year as far as going through progressions and trying to put the ball in the right spot, all of that stuff, I'm seeing it one step quicker," Mullens said Thursday.
Mullens is known for his quick decision-making, and Beathard is known for his toughness. Neither has a particularly strong arm so both trained during the offseason with quarterback guru Tom House, who specializes in throwing mechanics.
"The biggest thing is just learning how the entire body connects when you throw, how you can use your lower body and your hips to create more velocity on your throws," Mullens said. "Those guys gave me a lot of really good tips and I'm engraining them in my mind every day."
Both Mullens and Beathard have been searching for an edge. They say the competition has brought out the best in them.
"There's no letting up," Mullens said. "If you're engrained as a starter, you might not do the couple extra reps. But since you know you have a guy right there trying to get the same spot you have, you always have that urge. Somebody is fighting for the same spot you want. It has been a lot of fun."
NOTES: Nick Bosa will miss the entire preseason with "some components" of a high ankle sprain, according to 49ers general manager John Lynch. The 49ers hope Bosa will be ready for Week 1. ... RB Jerick McKinnon suffered a setback in his attempt to return from an ACL injury and will miss roughly the next two weeks.
Raiders 'concerned' over status of right guard Gabe Jackson
NAPA — Oakland Raiders starting right guard Gabe Jackson went down with a left leg injury that the team fears could be serious during Thursday's joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams.
Jackson was injured early in the session when someone rolled into his leg. He was taken off the field on a cart and owner Mark Davis went into the locker room shortly after that for almost 15 minutes.
"We're concerned obviously," coach Jon Gruden said. "Really concerned about him but we'll get more information here when we can be specific for you. I don't want to speculate."
Jackson, a third-round pick in 2014, is a key part of Oakland's offensive line and the team's longest-tenured player alongside quarterback Derek Carr and defensive tackle Justin Ellis. He received a five-year, $56 million extension in 2017 and is being counted on to be a big part of Carr's protection this season.
The Raiders already will be without starting left guard Richie Incognito for the first two regular-season games because of a suspension and top backup Denzelle Good is expected to miss the start of the season after undergoing back surgery.
Jonathan Cooper is expected to start in Incognito's place to begin the season. Denver Kirkland and Jordan Devey split time in Jackson's place for the remainder of the practice.
If Jackson is going to miss significant time, the Raiders could look to add more depth at the position.
"We'll have to put our heads together and take a look at where we're going if we need to," Gruden said.
Before getting hurt, Jackson was involved in one of two scuffles that took place during a more heated joint practice than the first session between the teams on Wednesday.
Jackson got tangled up with Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald at one point, leading players on both teams to rush to the pile and Los Angeles coach Sean McVay to run over from the opposite field to make sure it didn't escalate.
"It's football," Donald said. "It's just practice, it's just how the emotions (are) some days. A little bit of pushing and shoving never hurt anybody. We're just getting after it."
Saints want no more lawsuit on the playoff's 'NOLA no-call'
NEW ORLEANS — They were badly burned by the "Nola no-call," but the New Orleans Saints have joined the NFL in opposing a fan's lawsuit seeking damages over the missed penalty that helped the Los Angeles Rams beat the Saints in a January playoff game and move on to the Super Bowl.
The lawsuit by attorney and self-proclaimed fan Anthony LeMon resulted in a state judge's recent order that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and three game officials submit to questions in September. The league appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court on Wednesday night. And attorneys for the Saints filed an accompanying brief supporting the league.
At issue is officials' failure to call a roughness or pass interference penalty on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman for his helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Tommylee Lewis well before a pass arrived during the NFC Championship game. The Rams won that game and advanced to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New England Patriots.
"As the Saints have expressed, no team should be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field," Saints attorneys say in the brief. They go on to say that the team has sought rules changes aimed at addressing such possibilities."