The San Francisco 49ers made the formal move of placing Jimmy Garoppolo on injured reserve. In conjunction, they promoted quarterback Nick Mullens from the practice squad. And it would appear that will be it for the time being.
The 49ers worked out at least seven quarterbacks on Tuesday. It was a fairly limited group, although given where we are in the season, the number of quality quarterbacks the team is seriously going to consider signing is limited.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media on Wednesday that the team was not going to sign any of them for the time being, but would not rule it out for the future. For this week, there are too many roster question marks to consider. They have several players that will be Friday or Saturday decisions, and they can’t afford to carry a third quarterback behind C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens. Shanahan also said they were not looking at any trade possibilities.
Beathard returns to the starting role in an improved situation compared to a year ago. The 49ers offensive line remains a work in progress, but they’ve got some consistency on the group. It is improved, and ideally he won’t take nearly as much of a beating. He’s got some better pass catchers, and the running game has looked really solid the past two weeks.
Most important for Beathard is the fact that he has a full offseason under his belt learning the system. When Shanahan was the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, Matt Ryan took a big step forward in the offense in year two. I’m not here to say Beathard is Ryan, but in his second year in the offense, he would hopefully be in a position to better understand what is going on, and in turn make quicker decisions.
Beathard took a beating last year, partially due to his offensive line and partially due to his own rookie status. He is a downgrade from Jimmy Garoppolo, but he needs to show he is an upgrade from what he was a year ago.