49ers’ C.J. Beathard coping with brother’s death

49ers' C.J. Beathard coping with brother's death



MIAMI — The black ski cap embroidered with a single word constituted perfect messaging for C.J. Beathard as we talked this week during a media session at the 49ers hotel.

The word: Faithful.

The hat was promotional merchandise for a song that C.J.’s brother Tucker, an award-winning country music singer, released in 2015. It seemed ironic that of all the teams that might have drafted the quarterback when he came out of Iowa in 2017 it was the tradition-rich franchise that rolls with this theme for a marketing campaign: Faithful Then, Faithful Now.

“It’s one of those ‘God things,’ “ Beathard told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s kind of cool … kind of crazy. There’s a meaning to it.”

And even deeper meaning now. It has been less than six weeks since C.J.’s younger brother Clayton, 22, was one of two men who died after being stabbed during an incident outside the Dogwood Bar & Grill in Nashville in the wee hours of the morning of Dec. 21.

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49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard is acting as the team's scouting-team QB this week leading into the Super Bowl.

Yes, getting to Super Bowl LIV is big for C.J., the grandson of Hall of Fame general manager Bobby Beathard. The third-string quarterback has mimicked Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes in practices with scout-team duty to prepare the 49ers’ defense. Yet in a larger context, football is merely a diversion for the grieving.

“It’s been the toughest month of my life,” Beathard, 23, said. “It’s nothing that you’d want anybody go through, especially in losing someone that close to you.”


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