The San Francisco 49ers have named Jimmy Garoppolo the starting quarterback for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears. The team announced the move on Tuesday evening, despite earlier comments that they wouldn’t know until the players hit the practice field on Wednesday.
Perhaps the team wanted to avoid the ruckus on Wednesday, and instead informed the team that C.J. Beathard is no longer the starter, but the backup. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will meet with the media on Wednesday afternoon, where I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say about the decision and why it was made before it was expected.
Garoppolo took over for Beathard for the final snaps against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, and completed both of his passes, one of which was for a touchdown. The game was well out of hand by that point and it’s certainly a “garbage time” touchdown, but it got the fans excited.
Shanahan did say that those plays wouldn’t be taken into consideration when picking his starter going forward. That makes sense, and it’s certainly possible this move was already in the works.
Then again, the 49ers have an outrageously bad offensive line and Garoppolo only saw the field against the Seahawks because Beathard was sacked three times and hit a total of 14 teams in that game. He took a beating for certain, and the 49ers aren’t in the best position to give Garoppolo a chance of success.
But if they think Garoppolo is their potential franchise quarterback, they need to see him at some point as his contract expires at the end of this season. Shanahan did say that it makes sense to use the franchise tag on Garoppolo regardless, and I agree with him. They could wind up overpaying somebody who isn’t right for the job, but they have a lot of money and few answers to their questions.
Either way, we’ll see Garoppolo against a fairly bad Bears team, but one that has won more games than the 49ers this season. We’ll see how things go. Hold on to your butts, the Garoppolo era is here.