Nick Mullens appears to be heading toward another prime-time showcase with the 49ers.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not practice Thursday, which places his availability for the 49ers’ Week 4 game against the Philadelphia Eagles in serious question.
The 49ers take on the Eagles this weekend on Sunday Night Football at Levi’s Stadium.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday he would not hesitate to start Garoppolo if he proves he can “run around and protect himself.” Garoppolo sustained a high-ankle sprain in the 49ers’ Week 2 game against the New York Jets.
But Garoppolo has not practiced since sustaining the injury.
Mullens started and excelled in the 49ers’ 36-9 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.
“We’ve just got to see that he's healthy, but that won't be able to happen if we can't get him in practice,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo.
Although Shanahan said the “scenario doesn’t exist” where Mullens takes over permanently as the 49ers’ starter when Garoppolo is healthy, the organization has plenty of confidence in Mullens to keep the offense running smoothly.
And for good reason.
Mullens threw for 343 yards against the Giants. In his first nine NFL starts, Mullens averaged 291.1 yards, which ranks third all-time behind only Patrick Mahomes (312.2) and Andrew Luck (292.3).
Mullens made his NFL debut on a Thursday night in Week 9 of the 2018 season. He threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers’ 34-3 victory over the Raiders.
Mullens’ next start also came in front of another national TV audience, as he threw for 250 yards in a 27-24 loss to the Giants on Monday Night Football.