Jimmy Garoppolo may miss the rest of the season, so who do the San Francisco 49ers have backing him up?
Late in Sunday’s 38-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stayed in bounds on a run and paid for hit by absorbing a big hit. There seemed to be some helmet-to-helmet contact from Chiefs defensive back Steve Nelson, but it was a left knee injury that led to Garoppolo being carted to the locker room.
After the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan conveyed concern Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL. That would obviously mean he’s out for the season, and with him goes the majority of the preseason hope and hype surrounding the 49ers.
Garoppolo hasn’t been great over the first three games this year, but there will be a drop-off to whoever replaces him.
So who do the 49ers have as Garoppolo’s backup?
After being drafted in third round (No. 104 overall) of the 2017 draft, C.J. Beathard played in seven games and started five as a rookie for the 49ers last year. He completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 1,430 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions, while going 1-4 as the starter. That was San Francisco’s lone win last year before Garoppolo took over, and went 5-0 as the starter to end the season.
Beathard was only other quarterback the 49ers had on the 53-man roster to start the season, so assuming Garoppolo’s has a torn ACL an addition will need to be made. Nick Mullens, a 2017 undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss, has been on the practice squad and is now probably in the mix to be promoted.
The list of freely available free agent quarterbacks includes Colin Kaepernick, Landry Jones, Paxton Lynch and Tom Savage. Maybe general manager John Lynch can swing a trade for someone, as he did for Garoppolo last year, with Tyrod Taylor sitting on that possible list now.
But in the near-term, and perhaps for the rest of the season, the 49ers will probably be rolling with Beathard starting in place of Garoppolo.