Fooch’s update: Jay Glazer followed up Sunday late morning, saying Mullens is expected to start in Week 10.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan will not make his decision on starting quarterback known for at least a couple more days, but an early report suggests it will be Nick Mullens over C.J. Beathard. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport is reporting “it would be a major surprise” if Mullens was not the 49ers starter moving forward.
Shanahan said the players are getting four days off before they return to practice on Tuesday. He wanted to wait until they return before making and announcing a decision on the quarterback position. The 49ers will likely announce their Week 10 media availability on Monday, at which point we’ll know when Shanahan is meeting with the media. I imagine at that first press conference he’ll have an answer.
It makes sense to start Mullens against the Giants. He could not have played much better in his debut. It was against an awful Raiders team, so it makes sense to give him another start to see how he does against a bad, but slightly better Giants team. If he looks good against them, then you see how he does against a bad Bucs defense following the bye.
This is a lost season in terms of the team’s playoff chances, so it turns into a significant evaluation season. Mullens is in his second year with the organization, and at some point they were going to need to see how he would do against live competition. I don’t expect Mullens to emerge long-term as anything more than a backup, but surprises do happen. It would be great if the 49ers found themselves with a great backup they could trade for significant picks. I don’t expect that to happen, but you don’t know until you get him out on the field.
Meanwhile, I’m sure C.J. Beathard is not overly enthused by the possibility of being benched again. I don’t know if he’ll be surprised by it, but it won’t make it any easier. Although we seem to have an idea of his ceiling, he is still only in his second season. If Mullens retains the starting job next week, I don’t expect this to be the last we see of Beathard on the field. But for now, it makes all the sense in the world to get Mullens more snaps.