49ers to develop 4 rookie starters on defense

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2017, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard, right, runs from Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Olsen Pierre during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. With rookie Beathard playing behind a patchwork offensive line that has been missing injured left tackle Joe Staley, the 49ers have been facing lots of pressure. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) When the 49ers take the field Sunday against the Giants, they could have three defensive rookies starting who began the season as backups.

That’s just the way their 0-9 season has gone.

The youth movement in Kyle Shanahan’s first season as coach began on offense, with rookie C.J. Beathard taking over under center from Brian Hoyer.

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