SANTA CLARA — Wednesday afternoon, Jimmy Garoppolo practiced for the first time as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.
Garoppolo took every rep with the starters. Practice-squad quarterback Nick Mullens played with the scout team. And former starter C.J. Beathard watched from the sideline with a bruised left knee and strained hip. He did not participate in drills.
Earlier in the afternoon, head coach Kyle Shanahan explained his reasoning for making the switch from Beathard to Garoppolo this week.
“It’s a decision we’ve had to look into each week,” Shanahan said in the 49ers auditorium. “It definitely hasn’t been an easy decision. I’ve wanted to get a chance to see Jimmy play. I’ve also wanted a chance to let C.J. continue to play.
“So we’ve been trying to balance that out, and also give Jimmy a chance to fully get ready. The longer you wait, the more ready he will be. He won’t fully be there, I believe, until next year. But with everything going the way it did, also with C.J. being not able to practice today and maybe not throughout the week, that made the decision a little bit easier.”
Would Shanahan’s decision have been different if Beathard were healthy?
“I don’t know,” Shanahan said. “I can’t really speak to a hypothetical. I knew it was going to be a tough decision anyway, but this made it a lot easier.”
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