C.J. Beathard must suffer so that Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't have to


C.J. Beathard must suffer so that Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't have to

After a Cardinals-49ers game that made the word “desultory” seem like a rave review, it can safely be said that even though he was on the sidelines throwing footballs and smiling a lot, Jimmy Garoppolo seems as far as away as he did when he was still a New England Patriot.

But since everything the San Franciscii do from this moment on will be framed for and by Garoppolo, there seems no better time to begin.

In losing to a profoundly bland Arizona team, 20-10, the 49ers maintained their position as Browns West. If not for a late-game brawl that resulted in Carlos Hyde, Haason Reddick and the gloriously named Frostee Rucker ejected, there would have been no reason whatsoever to remember this day as anything other than a poor expenditure of three hours and 22 minutes.

Especially for C.J. Beathard, the aptly named recipient of yet another strident and persistent pummeling.

Indeed, the 49er highlight of the day was Beathard, in one of his few upright moments,  banking a pass off the back of the head of tackle Trent Brown so that Karlos Dansby could intercept it in game’s final three minutes. That, children, is no way to entertain anyone – even people who bet the Cardinals and gave the 2 ½ points.

But Jimmy Garoppolo got to watch, and learn, and see how his six-week trial here is going to go. Beathard got hit once by a long list of Cardinal defenders – and by “once,” we mean “16 times,” or “one hit that lasted three hours.” Once again Kyle Shanahan credited Beathard’s toughness in such an onslaught, but that will hardly be of much comfort when Garoppolo takes the job, in all likelihood in Seattle in three weeks.

Then again, it is hard to see how Garoppolo’s immediate fate will be much different. The 49ers are that injured, and that limited, and that under-rostered – which of course everyone has known for weeks. They can go winless, though it still seems unlikely, but their place near the very top of the NFL Draft order is only a John Lynch phone call away.

That, though, is the short-term, and Garoppolo is the embodiment of a long and glorious future for a fan base that thinks that 2012 was 50 years ago. Which, oddly, is nearly the actual number of years since the last 49er quarterback assigned the jersey number 10 to actually throw a ball in anger (Dennis Morrison) did so.

This is the cynical world that envelops a bad football team. Shanahan said Garoppolo had essentially zero chance of playing Sunday, and in all likelihood not much better chance next Sunday against the 1-8 New York Giants in what will almost surely be the least anticipated game of this largely dreadful season.

But Garoppolo is the face of the franchise to be because he is the hope in which the organization has invested its future. As for C.J. Beathard, he is the face of its present – an earnest and game young man who is taking a weekly pounding until further notice so that Garoppolo doesn’t have to do so. It hardly seems fair, but it seems exactly like football in any place where football is played poorly. The present must suffer so the future can flower.

49ers claim outside linebacker off waivers from Patriots


49ers claim outside linebacker off waivers from Patriots

The 49ers on Wednesday were assigned outside linebacker Cassius Marsh off waivers from the New England Patriots.

The Patriots waived Marsh on Tuesday after acquiring him in September from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks.

Marsh (6 foot 4, 245 pounds) appeared in 46 games in his four NFL seasons. Three of his four career sacks came in 2016 while with the Seahawks. He was Seattle's fourth-round pick in 2014.

Marsh is the second defensive player the 49ers have claimed off waivers this week. The club acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day on Monday. The 49ers released defensive linemen Tony McDaniel and Datone Jones within the past week.

The 49ers are at their roster maximum of 53 players. The club will have to clear a roster spot if Tank Carradine, as expected, is activated off injured reserve in order to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind


Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback C.J. Beathard is expected to make his fifth consecutive start for the 49ers on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will be prepared to face Jimmy Garoppolo, too.

“It really isn’t a factor,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. “We’re just preparing for the 49ers. They got a style of offense. They got really good players who do what they do. And whoever’s triggering it from the quarterback spot, we’re going to go play football.

“We’ve seen Jimmy play. We’ve seen how he’s mobile and the kind of athlete and competitor he is. But other than that, we just go play football. We can’t do anything about that.”

Beathard remained on the sideline when the clubs met Sept. 17 in Seattle. The Seahawks have defeated the 49ers seven consecutive times, including a 12-9 victory in Week 2 this season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the 49ers’ first six games of the season and rushed for just 7 yards during that time. Beathard has 115 yards rushing on 20 attempts in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

“He’s been mobile. He’s got a rushing average, you know,” Carroll said of Beathard. “He’s averaging 5-yards a carry and stuff. They’re incorporating him in the run game some that we have to be concerned about. That’s different than other quarterbacks at times. I’d think Jimmy can do the same stuff.

“He (Beathard) is getting more settled. You can see the offense growing. You can see Kyle able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’re just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing."