Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is scheduled to take the first-team practice snaps at practice Wednesday and make his first start for the 49ers on Sunday.
Coach Kyle Shanahan, who met with the quarterbacks on Tuesday, made the announcement that Garoppolo will start against the Chicago Bears. Garoppolo grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, approximately 30 miles from Soldier Field.
Rookie C.J. Beathard, who started the 49ers’ previous five games, sustained a knee contusion and hip strain late in Sunday’s game upon taking a low hit from Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. It is uncertain whether Beathard will be fully cleared to practice this week.
On Monday, Shanahan said he wanted his starting quarterback to be identified before Wednesday’s practice because both players needed as much preparation time as possible.
“One is a rookie quarterback and the other one basically is also, with him just being here,” Shanahan said. “To give those guys the best chance to be successful, you want to give them all the reps, which still isn't enough reps. Any time you split those evenly, it's kind of a disservice to both.”
Garoppolo arrived at 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 after the team acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick.
Garoppolo made just two starts in his 3 ½ seasons with the Patriots. On Sunday, he entered for the final three plays of the 49ers’ 24-13 loss to Seattle. He scrambled for 4 yards; completed an 8-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson on a fourth-and-6 play; then found Louis Murphy for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The NFL Network first reported the 49ers’ move.
The team could place wide receiver Victor Bolden on injured reserve to make roster space for McCaffrey. Bolden sustained an ankle injury in the 49ers’ 26-16 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.
McCaffrey (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) is a second-year player from Duke. He is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of former Stanford star and Carolina Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey.
Max McCaffrey appeared in five games this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching one pass for 4 yards.
He originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie and spent time with Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville before returning to the Packers’ practice squad in October.
Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.
But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.
The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.
“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.
“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”
The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.
In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.
“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”
Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.