Jimmy Garoppolo could see first action for San Francisco 49ers Sunday

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 8, 2017 at 11:34 PM
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated Wednesday that he expects recently acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to make his San Francisco 49ers debut Sunday against the New York Giants.

Exactly when and for how long remains a game-time decision ... if not later.

"I'm very eager and excited to see him out there," Shanahan said before Wednesday's practice. "That doesn't always mean that's the right decision (to play him), so that's what I'm trying to balance out.

"If I just went off impulse and feeling, I would have done that the very first day, the very first second. But I'm trying to do what's right for Jimmy and what's right for our team."

Shanahan admitted one particular set of plays has been scripted for the fourth-year pro, acquired last week from the New England Patriots.

"We've got a huge goal-line red-zone plan for him. So we'll see if we use it," he claimed. "I'd consider anything. I really would. It's day-to-day. We're throwing a lot at him. We're considering everything."

The problem, Shanahan said, is that game situations cannot be scripted.

"You never know," he explained. "Just like last week (against Arizona), when you lose a fullback, you lose your tight end, you lose your slot receiver. I mean, you're changing an entire game plan on the sideline from the first quarter on. That would be very tough for a guy who's been at three practices.

"So lots of things go into it. Hopefully it's sooner than later, but again I'm not setting a date on it."

Shanahan assured C.J. Beathard begins this week as the starter.

"I'm committed to C.J. starting right now. He's going to get all the reps as the starting quarterback right now when we go out to practice," the first-year head coach said. "But you go to Thursday's practice and you go to Friday's practice. This happens with a lot of players. It's not just the quarterback. We've had guys being the starters at certain positions on Wednesday, Thursday, and based on how they practice we change that on Friday.

"I expect C.J. to start this week. I'm not trying to lead you guys on to anything. I really feel the exact same as I felt last week. I know for obvious reasons, Jimmy is further along than he was last week, but I plan on going with C.J. and we'll see how practice goes."

It was suggested to Shanahan that given the amount of punishment Beathard took behind an injury-depleted offensive line last week, he might be wise to limit Garoppolo's exposure for the time being. The coach didn't buy the concept.

"He hasn't played very much, so if we think it can help him, if we think it can help our team, then that's something you want to do," he explained. "I don't want to throw a guy into a situation that's tough to succeed in. It's very tough when some of the stuff we are going through injury-wise, but it's not just that. It's also throwing a guy in that situation with his lack of reps and lack of experience.

"So, no, we didn't bring him here to save our season. But we had a great opportunity at the time to get a very good quarterback for what we thought was very good value, and that's why we didn't hesitate. That was the cool thing about getting him, that it was I don't feel the pressure that, 'Hey, we have to do this right now.' That's one of the reasons I said, I think the first day I got here, that I thought we were in a position where we could do things the right way and make the right decisions, and that's really what we are trying to do now. We're not trying to make a decision based off of what our record is."

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