After a dismal performance in the first half of Sunday's 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers benched quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
C.J. Beathard came in with the 49ers down 30-7 after two quarters. Garoppolo had missed the 49ers' last 2 1/2 games after sustaining a high ankle sprain in Week 2, but coach Kyle Shanahan apparently was confident enough in Garoppolo's healthy leading up to Sunday to give him the start.
Jimmy G completed just seven of his 17 pass attempts for 77 yards, tossing two interceptions against a Dolphins defense ranked among the worst units in the NFL against the pass heading into Sunday. Shanahan said at the half he pulled Garoppolo to “protect” the QB. Following the loss, the head coach defended his decision to yank Garoppolo in favor of Beathard.
“The way the whole game was going,” Shanahan told reporters. “Just kind of watching how we were playing as a whole, how he was playing, you could tell he was affected by his ankle. You can ask him more when he gets in, but I know he doesn’t normally throw the ball that way, and I think he was struggling a little bit because of it. The way the game was going, I wasn’t going to keep putting him in those positions and knowing we were going to have to throw it a lot to come back.”
Garoppolo clearly wasn’t himself, and that showed on the field. Beathard completed nine of his 18 attempts for 94 yards, including a 19-yard strike to Kendrick Bourne for the 49ers' lone passing touchdown on the day.
It remains to be seen who Shanahan will choose to start in Week 6 when the 49ers take on the Los Angeles Rams. If Garoppolo isn’t at 100 percent, the 49ers’ struggles along the offensive line might not be ideal for a banged-up QB.