San Francisco 49ers quarterback B.J. Daniels has inserted himself in the mix for the No. 2 job behind starter Colin Kaepernick, head coach Jim Harbaugh said on Friday night.
"He’s been there this past week," Harbaugh said after Daniels led the 49ers to a come-from-behind 15-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Daniels, the 237th player selected in the 2013 NFL draft, took over late in the third quarter, playing 24 snaps and completing six of nine pass attempts for 72 yards with a 14-yard go-ahead touchdown to rookie wideout Chuck Jacobs.
Daniels' performance on the final drive impressed Kaepernick.
“He had a great drive. He had a lot of poise and made plays when it really counted," Kaepernick said.
Daniels, a read-option quarterback at South Florida, was fourth on the depth chart when training camp started, but Harbaugh said earlier this month that Daniels was in the mix for the No. 2 job, which was thought to be between veterans Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien. However, neither have done much to solidify that role.
Through two preseason games, Tolzien is 18-of-34 for 188 yards and an interception (with three sacks), while McCoy is six of 13 for 76 yards with two interceptions. Daniels played just one snap in the preseason-opener, but after his performance against the Chiefs on Friday night, he may have earned more playing time in the 49ers' next preseason game, a prime-time meeting with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Aug. 25.
There are financial considerations, as well, as McCoy is the team's highest-paid quarterback, albeit at just $1.5 million, for the upcoming season. The 49ers are $7.117 million under their adjusted cap number ($125.773 million) and could gain another $1.5 million in cap space by going with Tolzien and Daniels as the backups to Kaepernick.