It’s probably a week or two later than fans expected, but Jimmy Garoppolo is the new starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He will be under center against the Chicago Bears this Sunday as the NFL moves into their last five regular season weeks of the year.
Coach Kyle Shanahan told his players about the change on Tuesday, almost a month since the team made the trade to acquire Garoppolo from the New England Patriots. It was expected that as a new quarterback to Shanahan’s complicated system that the switch would take place after the teams bye week, but the current starter C.J. Beathard was coming off his best game having beaten the New York Giants, the team’s first victory of the season.
Beathard got the nod to start against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend and played the majority of the game, but suffered a left knee bruise and a hip strain with just over a minute left in the game. Garoppolo entered, scrambled on his first place for four yards then completed his next two passes, with the second one being for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired. You can’t really ask for a better debut than that.
With Beathard still hurting, it became easier to make the switch this week. In his previous two starts in the NFL, Garoppolo went 42-of-59 for 496 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 119.0 and a QBR of 88.7. Rookie Beathard is 123-of-224 for 1,430 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 69.2 and a QBR of 29.4 in six games played.
The 1-10 49ers travel to Chicago this week then finish up the year with games at the Houston Texans, then hosting the Tennessee Titans, hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars and then at the Los Angeles Rams. This should give the team a good sampling of work to see what they have in Garoppolo before going into the NFL draft next year.
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