Hos Works Out With Niners

Jeff Hostetler, who hasn't played since 1997, worked out for the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday in a sign the club might add a veteran quarterback in the event injured Steve Young can't return.

General manager Bill Walsh said Hostetler, 38, wasn't available to be signed now because of family obligations, but the club would consider adding him to the roster later if circumstances dictated such a move.

"He looked good. He's really a fine athlete and charismatic person," Walsh said. "We're not ruling out the possibility of him playing for the 49ers in the future. We're looking at all our options for this year and next year."

Young, 38, hasn't played since Sept. 27, when he went down with his fourth concussion in three years. He is not expected to play again this season and there is speculation that he might have to retire because of lingering concussion problems.

Walsh said the 49ers, who have relatively inexperienced quarterbacks playing now in Steve Stenstrom and Jeff Garcia, have to be prepared for that possibility.

"I think everybody is beginning to come to the conclusion that he will not be playing again," Walsh said. "It's not a final decision but we have to account for the possibility, the likelihood he won't play again."

Hostetler, who helped lead the New York Giants to a Super Bowl win in 1990, spent four years as a starting quarterback for the Raiders, leaving in 1996 to become a backup in Washington.

He was on the Redskins' roster in 1998 but didn't play following knee surgery. He was subsequently released in February and retired after his 8-year-old son Tyler, was seriously injured last June in an all-terrain vehicle accident.

Tyler, who was left partially paralyzed by the accident, has been making good progress in his recovery and walked to classes under his own power when school opened two months ago.

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