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Jimmy Garoppolo not expected to play, C.J. Beathard to start for 49ers

From Jared Goff to Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss the players who laid an egg in Week 15.

The 49ers opened the window for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to return to action on Tuesday, but it’s not likely that he’ll be back in uniform on Saturday.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said at his Tuesday press conference that C.J. Beathard will start at quarterback against the Cardinals this weekend. He also said he would be surprised if Garoppolo plays in the final two weeks of the season.

Beathard replaced Nick Mullens on Sunday after Mullens took a big hit from Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and hurt his elbow. Shanahan said Mullens is set for surgery to repair the injury and said it might be the Tommy John procedure that is often performed on baseball pitchers.

The 49ers will be looking for a quarterback from another team’s practice squad to play behind Beathard. They had veteran journeyman Josh Johnson on their practice squad, but he has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

A change in league procedures would allow the 49ers to sign a player and have him join the team immediately as long as he travels privately and does not miss any COVID-19 tests in the league’s protocol.