SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Kyle Shanahan isn’t ready to decide between quarterbacks C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo just yet.
The San Francisco 49ers coach is waiting to see how Beathard recovers from the hip and knee injuries that forced him out of Sunday’s loss to Seattle. Garoppolo replaced him late in the game, and now Tom Brady’s former backup could get his first start for San Francisco next week against the Bears.
Garoppolo threw a touchdown on the final play against the Seahawks after Beathard was sidelined with 1:07 left. Shanahan said he’ll announce his starter by Wednesday in order to maximize practice time ahead of Chicago.
“To give those guys the best chance to be successful, you want to give them all the reps — which still isn’t enough reps,” he said. “Any time you split those evenly, it’s kind of a disservice to both.”
Shanahan said Beathard has a knee contusion and a hip strain from a low hit by defensive end Michael Bennett during an incomplete pass on the final drive.
“It was nothing serious or long term. He was pretty sore today,” Shanahan said. “(Beathard’s) pretty banged up, though.”
Garoppolo played the final three snaps. He scrambled for four yards, converted a fourth-down pass to Aldrick Robinson and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy after rolling left.
Shanahan planned to talk with his coaching staff and break down game film of Chicago’s defense before choosing a starter. He watched tape from the Seahawks game Monday afternoon before addressing the media.
After the game, Shanahan said Garoppolo’s three snaps, including his impressive touchdown throw, won’t factor in his decision.
“Those plays have nothing to do with anything. That’s just running around and made a great play, but those have no bearing on it at all,” he said.
Garoppolo was acquired from the Patriots before the trade deadline Oct. 31, and San Francisco is grooming him to start next season. The four-year veteran is slated for free agency after the season, but Shanahan said the 49ers are willing to give him the franchise tag to ensure he stays in 2018.
“When you’re making a long-term decision on someone for your organization, for you to pay him the amount of money that you do for quarterbacks, that’s a big deal,” Shanahan said. “… So I think knowing how the franchise tag works and stuff is what made it kind of a no-brainer to make that trade. Hey, you have this opportunity to get such a good player, what’s the negative? Well, you don’t want to lose him in six weeks or eight weeks. Well, if you have the franchise tag, you don’t have to ever worry about losing him.”
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.