Hawkeyes in the NFL Week 16: 49ers Rally with Beathard Family on Minds

December 24, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Trailing twice by 11 points, San Francisco found a way to pull out a 34-31 victory against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday. Kicker Robbie Gould connected on a 33-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired.

A big part of the 49ers’ motivation stemmed from tragedy that hit the team. Friday night in Nashville, Clayton Beathard, 22, the younger brother of back-up quarterback and former Hawkeye C.J. Beathard, was stabbed to death along with another man.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan delivered a heartfelt speech following the victory.

C.J. Beathard played at Iowa from 2012-16, leading the Hawkeyes to an unbeaten regular season, a spot in the Big Ten championship game and a Rose Bowl berth in ’15. The 49ers chose him in the third round of the ’17 NFL Draft. College teammate George Kittle was taken by San Francisco two rounds later.

Kittle caught five of eight targets for 79 yards and a touchdown against Los Angeles. The tight end became emotional when asked about the Beathards in the postgame press conference.

Kittle shared with the room what Clayton was like as a person.

Paul Trapeni III was the other fatality during the incident outside a Nashville bar. He played football with Clayton at Battle Ground Academy, where C.J. played quarterback.

Friends and family gathered at the Franklin, Tenn. high school on Sunday to remember the deceased.

“It’s one of those things as a school administrator or as a parent, the timing is not right,” Head of School Will Kesler told the Tennessean. “Children should not be passing before their parents. But it’s also a time where you appreciate the strength of community and how we are all dependent on one another to move forward in difficult times.”

C.J. Beathard left the 49ers before Saturday’s game, returning to Nashville to be with his family.

Here’s a look how other former Hawkeyes performed in the NFL during Week 16:

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-Green Bay clinched the NFC North Division title Monday night with a 23-10 victory at rival Minnesota. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga played all 77 snaps for the offense and four more on special teams. It was the ninth time this season that he’s lined up for 100 percent of the offensive snaps in a game this season.

Second-year defensive back Josh Jackson saw 18 special teams snaps on Monday.

For Minnesota, left tackle Riley Reiff played all 54 offensive snaps and two more on special teams. Tackle Jaleel Johnson saw 24 snaps (31.2 percent) on defense and another on special teams. He contributed a solo tackle.

-Guard Austin Blythe logged 70 snaps on offense and six more on special teams during the Rams’ loss at San Francisco.

-Kansas City improved to 11-4 with a 26-3 drubbing of the Bears in Chicago Sunday night. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens recorded six tackles (three solo) during 37 snaps. Fellow linebacker Ben Niemann added three stops for the winners.

Guard James Daniels played 64 snaps for Chicago.

-Baltimore improved its NFL-best record to 13-2 with a 31-15 victory at Cleveland. All-pro guard Marshal Yanda saw 73 snaps in the win.

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-Rookie tight end Noah Fant caught two passes for 10 yards in Denver’s 27-17 triumph against visiting Detroit Sunday. He played 41 snaps. Linebacker Josey Jewell and long-snapper Casey Kreiter also played for the Broncos.

The Lions placed defensive tackle Mike Daniels (arm) on injured reserve last week. Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the season.

-Safety Micah Hyde contributed seven tackles (six solo) and returned a fumble recovery 31 yards during Buffalo’s 24-17 loss at New England on Saturday. He logged 72 snaps on offense and four more on special teams.

Offensive lineman James Ferentz saw four snaps for the Patriots.

-Defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a solo tackle during Atlanta’s 24-12 victory against visiting Jacksonville on Sunday. He played 35 snaps.

-Tennessee rookie safety Amani Hooker played 12 snaps on defense during a 38-28 loss to visiting New Orleans.

-Defensive back Desmond King accumulated three tackles (two solo) during the Chargers’ 24-17 setback against visiting Oakland Sunday. He played 35 combined snaps on defense and special teams.

-Cornerback Greg Mabin delivered a solo tackle during Cincinnati’s 38-35 loss at Miami Sunday. He saw five snaps on defense and 19 more on special teams.

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