SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Cardale Jones led scoring drives on Los Angeles’ first four possessions in his bid to make the roster as the No. 3 quarterback and the Chargers finished the exhibition season by beating the San Francisco 49ers 27-24 Thursday night.
Jones got the start while Philip Rivers and Tyrod Taylor rested and led the Chargers (1-3) to a pair of field goals and two touchdowns. He scored the final one himself with a diving 2-yard run , stretching the ball just inside the pylon.
Jones played the first half, going 10 for 16 for 149 yards and adding 26 yards on the ground.
Rookie Easton Stick threw two interceptions in the second half before leading a winning drive to Derrick Gore’s 11-yard run with 1:17 to play.
C.J. Beathard threw one touchdown pass for San Francisco (3-1), but his best play might have been on a downfield block that sprung Jeff Wilson for a 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Beathard went 6 for 9 for 58 yards, connecting on a 21-yard score to a sliding Kendrick Bourne on his final pass of the night late in the first half.
Beathard has been in a competition with Nick Mullens to be the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco, although coach Kyle Shanahan said he plans to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
Mullens played only one series in the second half before turning it over to undrafted rookie Wilton Speight for the rest of the game.
Wilson completed a strong preseason with 20 carries for 100 yards and his fourth TD run in the past three games. Wilson could get a spot on the roster, especially if Jerick McKinnon starts the season on injured reserve after having another setback in his recovery from an ACL injury.
Los Angeles second-round safety Nasir Adderley got his first snaps of the preseason after dealing with a hamstring issue most of training camp. He dropped a potential interception against Speight in the third quarter, then held onto one in the fourth.
SIT IT OUT
Both teams rested almost all of their starters as they wanted to stay as healthy as possible before the opener. Among the front-line players not suiting up were brothers Nick Bosa of San Francisco and Joey Bosa of Los Angeles. The two defensive ends greeted each other before the game, the first time they’ve been on the same field together as pros.
Niners S Adrian Colbert left with a hamstring injury.
Chargers: host Indianapolis on Sept. 8.
49ers: visit Tampa Bay on Sept. 8.