An injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers team will sign Josh Rosen, the once-heralded Jewish quarterback out of UCLA who has struggled to gain a foothold in the NFL, as a backup for the remaining two games of the season.
The move was reported on Tuesday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.
The 49ers currently sit in last place in the NFC West division with a 5-9 season record. Rosen, 23, will backup third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard during Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, ESPN reported.
Known as a cerebral player and a skilled pocket passer, Rosen had a stellar college career at the Pac-12 athletics powerhouse, where he earned the nickname “Chosen Rosen.” He set the school single-season record for passing yards during his junior year, and was considered an early Heisman Trophy candidate.
An economics major, Rosen left college for the NFL prior to graduating, but later returned after his first NFL season in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. On March 18 Rosen announced on Twitter that he had graduated.
The son of a Jewish orthopedic surgeon and a Quaker mother who captained the Princeton lacrosse team, Rosen had a bar mitzvah and said he chose UCLA in part because of the Jewish community in Southern California.
Rosen used to receive taunts from opponents during college games, he told NFL.com in 2018.
“I get a lot of Jewish things,” Rosen said. “My nose, particularly. I get, like, ‘Stay the f–k down, you Jewish bastard. … I’m gonna break your f–kin nose, you Jew.'”
Rosen said he found the taunts motivating. “It gets my competitive juices flowing,” he told reporter Michael Silver.
A highly-touted NFL prospect, Rosen was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Since then he has struggled to establish himself in a starting quarterback role, playing in 20 games for the Cardinals and Miami Dolphins while passing for 142 yards per game with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
The Dolphins released Rosen earlier this year. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where the 49ers picked him up off the practice squad.