San Francisco 49ers rookie C.J. Beathard is set to surrender his starting quarterback role to veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo. The Niners recently acquired Garoppolo, Tom Brady’s former well-known back-up, from the New England Patriots late last month in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft pick.
Beathard, 23, was selected by the Niners with the 104th overall pick in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft. He has played five times this season and has started four times for head coach Kyle Shanahan. He replaced former starter Brian Hoyer, who is now with the Patriots after the team released him following Garoppolo’s acquisition.
Shanahan named Beathard as the team’s starting quarterback after finishing his first appearance for the squad, a 26-24 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 6. Beathard subbed for Hoyer with six and a half minutes remaining in the first half and the Niners trailing the Redskins, 14-0. The former Iowa Hawkeyes standout almost rallied the Niners to the win even after the team went down by as much as 17-0.
Beathard pulled off one of the best performances for a rookie on Sunday after helping the Niners register their first win of the season, a 31-21 victory over Eli Manning and the equally-struggling New York Giants.
Beathard passed 19-for-25 for 303 yards with three touchdowns, including an 83-yard boomer and an 11-yard rush, for a rating of 123.4. Beathard’s score was higher than Manning’s, who had 113.9 on 28-for-37 passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns.
Still, reports are out that Garoppolo is appointed to replace Beathard for the starting spot soon.
ESPN reported that Garoppolo would make his starting debut versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. The Niners have a Week 11 bye and will have six games left on their schedule this season. Garoppolo served as Beathard’s reliever for the second consecutive week during the team’s win over the Giants.
Garoppolo as the starter is said to be the more popular choice, according to CBS Sports, evidently because of the huge fan-base that the former Patriot already has. However, the Niners are reportedly not keen on throwing Garoppolo in the hot seat until Shanahan knows that he has enough mastery of the team’s offense.
“I know everyone is very excited and wants to see him play,” Shanahan said. “Including myself. Including our coaches and players. Including my wife. I get that. I’m very well aware of that. But I’m fortunate to be in a situation where we can do what we think is right.”
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report noted that Beathard had injured his right thumb during the Giants game. Garoppolo was supposed to relieve him but the rookie fought “through the pain to remain in.” Beathard will likely undergo an X-ray on his finger soon.
[Featured Image by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images]