SANTA CLARA — 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hasn’t decided which quarterback will start after the bye week. That’s what he said at his Monday press conference. But it sure sounded like he wants Jimmy Garoppolo if he’s ready.
“We’ll see how practice goes this week,” Shanahan said in the 49ers’ media auditorium. “C.J. (Beathard) played pretty well. I thought he had his best game. I think he has gotten better each week. I thought the guys around him played their best game, too, which definitely makes it easier to keep everyone out there and keep that going.
“But, we’ll see how Jimmy responds this week. We’re going to work a little bit more one on one with him, get a little extra practice on Monday and see how it goes. We’ll have our game plan done Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll start practicing our game plan Wednesday.”
Garoppolo will hang around the team’s facility during the bye week and continue to learn the 49ers offense with Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello.
“Rich (will be) doing most of (the work with Garoppolo),” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a number of players here, too. Some of the guys have to stay back for rehab, guys like (tight end) George Kittle and (wide receiver) Trent (Taylor). I know (wide receiver Louis) Murphy is going to stay around a little bit, so we’ve got some players who can catch the ball for (Garoppolo).”
Before Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the 49ers plan to sit Beathard and start Garoppolo against the Seattle Seahawks immediately following the bye week.
But, Beathard may have complicated that plan. He played beautifully against the Giants. He passed for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, he ran for a touchdown, completed 76 percent of his throws, posted a quarterback rating of 123.4 and delivered the 49ers their first win of the season.
Beathard’s performance on Sunday and recent improvement may make the transition to Garoppolo more difficult for Shanahan.
“(Beathard) has just gotten more comfortable,” Shanahan said. “He got thrown in there versus Washington. When you get thrown in there in the middle of the game, you kind of come out and you don’t have much to think about. You just play.
“Then he got the whole week to start the next week versus Dallas. No one realizes, but the first time you get a start, just coming into the building is different. Everyone is looking at you. We didn’t have a very good game that Sunday.
“Then the next week going to Philly, we had one of our worst games, got the most beat up. Then I thought (Beathard) played his best versus Arizona. By no means perfect. We still struggled as a team.
“He came in this week and really rebounded. Just the consistency of throwing to the receivers, going to the right spot, playing in the pocket, making the right calls in the run game. The game is not too big for him. I don’t think he’s a guy who worries a lot about things he can’t control. That’s why I think these reps have helped him.”
Despite Beathard’s push to remain the 49ers’ starting quarterback, a thumb injury on his throwing hand he suffered during the fourth quarter against the Giants could force him out of the lineup, or give Shanahan an excuse to play Garoppolo.