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Shanahan: I need to decide if changing quarterbacks will help or not

To Mullens or to Beathard...that is the question.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

To Nick Mullens, or to not Nick Mullens. That’s what San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and the coaching staff must decide for the final three games of the season. Based on Shanahan’s comments, it doesn’t appear that Jimmy Garoppolo would return this season:

“I wouldn’t say I’m confident. I think it’s up in the air. I’m waiting to hear from the doctors. It’s something that, when you have the high ankle sprain that he had, that was worse than everyone else’s and was so close to surgery, the only way we’re going to put him out there if it’s completely healed.

I’m not going to risk him having to get surgery on it. I don’t want to put him out there for a last game or last two games for him having the chance to reinjure it and have to have surgery in the offseason. So, until the doctors tell me that there’s no chance of that and that has to do with Jimmy pushing himself like he has been doing, having no soreness and things like that, that’s when we’ll do it.

That’s why it is a week-to-week thing right now. We’ve gotten over the hump, but it is a risk, and we’re not going to do it if there’s a risk. So, we feel talking to Jimmy and the doctors there’s a risk this week, so we’ll put it off another week, see how it goes.”

Jimmy’s not playing for the rest of the season.

When asked what he’s looking for in terms of the quarterback debate, and if C.J. Beathard is the temporary answer, here’s what Shanahan said:

“No, I’m just trying to consider what will give us the best chance to win, and that’s pretty much what I try to decide on that every week based off who plays. Just the way we’ve been turning the ball over so much, I need to decide if changing quarterbacks will help or not. So, that’s something we’ll look into, but regardless of what’s going on in any situation, it’s very tough to win football games when we’ve been turning the ball over.”

The 49ers have the fifth-worst turnover differential in the NFL. There have been double-digit giveaways in the past seven games. My takeaway from hearing him speak is that Shanahan must not think very highly about C.J. Beathard if he continues to trot Mullens onto the field.

He mentioned that Beathard started to warm up after Mullens threw a pick-six, but if it’s taken this long to consider a change, I think we have our answer. Josh Johnson, anyone?