49ers claim QB Bethel-Thompson, release Skelton
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SANTA CLARA – Quarterback John Skelton, who was seen in the 49ers’ locker room at lunchtime studying the playbook, was released a short time later.

The 49ers claimed former Sacramento State quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, whom the Minnesota Vikings released on Tuesday.

Bethel-Thompson (6 foot 3, 230 pounds) was with the 49ers during training camp of 2011. He won a roster spot with the Vikings in 2012 after beating out veteran Sage Rosenfels for the No. 3 job. Bethel-Thompson was released this week when the Vikings signed Josh Freeman.

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He attended Balboa High in San Francisco and played collegiately at UCLA before originally signing out of college with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena League in 2010.

Skelton spent one week with the 49ers. The 49ers released rookie B.J. Daniels to sign Skelton, who was inactive Sunday against the Houston Texans as the No. 3 quarterback.

Veteran Colt McCoy remains as the 49ers' No. 2 quarterback behind starter Colin Kaepernick. Daniels was the No. 3 quarterback to open the regular season, as he beat out Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace for the job.

Coach Jim Harbaugh explained the decision last week to sign Skelton to replace Daniels was because the team wanted more experience from the No. 3 quarterback position. Bethel-Thompson has never attempted a pass in the NFL.