49ers

Beathard's condition suggests Garoppolo is 49ers' healthy favorite to start vs. Bears

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AP

Beathard's condition suggests Garoppolo is 49ers' healthy favorite to start vs. Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo spent the first 3 ½ seasons watching the measures a quarterback must take to protect himself.

Tom Brady is not the most nimble quarterback in the league, but nobody is better at buying time in the pocket with a step here or a step there to create enough space to deliver the ball down the field.

Most of the time, the ball comes out of Brady’s hand quickly -- before the pass rush arrives.

For the past three games while standing on the 49ers sideline, Garoppolo saw the beating a quarterback can take when pass protection does not hold up.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he will make a decision on the 49ers’ starting quarterback before the team takes the practice field on Wednesday. Teams generally begin their preparations for upcoming opponents on Wednesdays.

Whomever starts at quarterback – rookie C.J. Beathard or Garoppolo, the newcomer – needs the full week of practice reps with the first-team offense to have his best chance of success on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, Shanahan said.

First off, it’s not even clear Beathard will be available to take part in a full week of practice. He sustained injuries to his left knee and hip on Sunday upon being taken down by Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett with a low hit after Bennett had already jumped offside.

(The play was not whistled dead before Bennett beat 49ers rookie Erik Magnuson, a fill-in at right tackle, to hit Beathard; and no penalty was called for a low hit on the quarterback.)

Beathard’s mobility will certainly be impacted, if he is deemed OK to play. But even when his legs have been healthy, he has not been able to avoid a large number of hits. It seems the only real decision Shanahan has is to anoint Garoppolo as the starter.

Right tackle Trent Brown was “close” to playing Sunday against Seattle with a shoulder injury, Shanahan said. The team expects him to be available to face the Bears on Sunday.

But that’s immaterial. Beathard might not be healthy, might not be able to protect himself by making the movements necessary to buy time or escape the pocket. He has been sacked 19 times in 5 ½ games since taking over for Brian Hoyer.

The 49ers’ issues with pass protection will not disappear if Garoppolo makes his first start with his new team on Sunday or whether Brown returns to the lineup.

Garoppolo can succeed in making his pass protection look better. He can show that he learned from the best in making quick decisions and subtle movements to avoid the punishment he saw Beathard endure.

Assuming he starts on Sunday, the person most responsible for protecting Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday is Jimmy Garoppolo.

Source: 49ers sign son of former NFL WR

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USATSI

Source: 49ers sign son of former NFL WR

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.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

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USATSI

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

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.