Playing Jimmy Garoppolo is not a start for the 49ers


SANTA CLARA – We thought the 49ers were acquiring a solid quarterback when they exchanged for Jimmy Garoppolo on October 30. It turns out that they were receiving some sort of end-of-the-world device. The guy is wrapped up in so much secrecy that the team does not even allow us to see him in action.

What are you hiding, 49ers? Give us the Garoppolo!

We badumed that this was the week we would see No. 10 behind the center. It made a lot of sense. The most obvious reason was that the 49ers are coming out of their week off. Swapping a starting quarterback for another is always uncomfortable. But if you're going to do it, why not do it after a doubly long break, one that the new guy (Garoppolo) pbaded with his nose in the playbook?

There are other factors that pointed to a November. 26 debut for Garoppolo. Like the health of his offensive line, and the health of C.J. Beathard.

The first one is pretty good at the moment; it would make sense to present his new investment when tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown are healthy and the quarterback has a chance to stay on his feet.

And the latter is not perfect; Beathard, who has started the last four games at QB, still has a sore digit in his hand that pbaded.

Anyway, we are dying here. It has been unbearable to see the 49ers play for most of this season. Throw us a bone, Niners. Give us the Garoppolo.

But no.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan formally announced on Wednesday what his general manager, John Lynch, had foretold on Tuesday: that Beathard will get at least one more start. And erase the idea that Shanahan could play against Garoppolo in the second half, or alternate between quarterbacks against the Seahawks on Sunday.

"It's not going to be like an experiment: have a boy do some reps," Shanahan said. "You go with the boy and do what you can to win the game, and you make changes with injuries if necessary."

So there you have it. The 49ers traded a second-round draft election for New England for Garoppolo, but he will be a handsome clipboard for at least another week.

Why? Shanahan spoke about the decision on Wednesday, but the only phrase he really needs is this: "I do not think it's right that Jimmy, CJ, the whole team or organization" change quarterback at this time.

The way I see it, Shanahan has 75 percent accuracy, which is not bad for an NFL coach.

What is right for Jimmy? Install a director's chair on the sideline of the 49ers with his name, and let Sunday continue to be a rest day for the fourth-year professional.

The offensive system of Shanahan is notoriously complex, in its nomenclature, in its variety of sets, in its patterns of movement. Garoppolo admitted on Wednesday that he is not "100 percent comfortable" with every play.

And let's face it, he's probably not 100 percent comfortable with his help on offense. The inner line of the 49ers is unstable, and its wide receivers resemble the winners of an open test. The best thing for Garoppolo would be to admire the scene through binoculars.

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