Four 49ers you should watch in Sunday's game vs. Broncos – NBCSports.com

SANTA CLARA — An organization with a lot of uncertainty for the future seemingly figured to have one major dilemma solved in the offseason when the 49ers signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term contract.

The 49ers appeared to have their Nos. 1 and 2 quarterbacks on the roster and under contract through the 2020 season.

But now, C.J. Beathard’s long-term spot as the 49ers’ backup is open to debate – and, more importantly, it is open to competition.

“If the season ended now, they’d both be going into the offseason competing,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.

Nick Mullens, who spent his entire rookie season on the 49ers’ practice squad as an undrafted free agent from Southern Mississippi, will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the Denver Broncos visit Levi’s Stadium. His solid play through four games has placed him in position to challenge Beathard to become Garoppolo’s backup.

“Definitely, C.J. was our two and Nick was our three, and Nick came in and got his opportunity because C.J. was hurt and he’s done good enough to keep that in all four of the games he’s played,” Shanahan said.

“We’ll see how that goes for these next four, but it was nothing against C.J. Nick came in and played well and there hasn’t been a reason to put C.J. back in yet, based off of Nick.”

[RELATED: Four 49ers you should watch in Sunday’s game vs. Broncos]

Beathard took over as the starter after Garoppolo sustained his season-ending knee injury in Kansas City against the Chiefs in Week 3. He completed 102 of 169 pass attempts (60.4 percent) for 1,242 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions and a passer rating of 81.8. The 49ers were 0-5 in Beathard’s starts.

Mullens took over in Week 9 when Beathard, who had

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