Jimmy Garoppolo is nowhere close to learning the entire 49ers’ offense.
But as he takes over as the 49ers' starter Sunday against the Chicago Bears, Garoppolo does not have to be comfortable with the entire breadth of coach Kyle Shanahan’s system.
“When you go into the week with him as the starter, the playbook is this week,” Shanahan said on Wednesday, one day after he informed Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard of his decision to make a change at quarterback.
“It’s not a big inventory of our training camp and OTAs. What’s our game plan to beat Chicago? We put that in all Monday night and Tuesday with the idea that we were going to go with Jimmy. This game plan is for Jimmy and he’ll work at it all week.”
Shanahan will meet with Garoppolo late in the week to solidify the call sheet for Sunday's game, he said.
"Whatever he doesn’t feel comfortable with and doesn’t get down in these three practices, then we’ll take it out," Shanahan said. "Whatever we go with on Sunday, he’ll know 100 percent of it."
Garoppolo, who arrived at 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 after being acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots, is balancing his studies this week to learn the 49ers’ game plan making his first start this season while also gaining and understanding of the Bears’ defense.
“That’s been the tricky part the last couple of weeks,” Garoppolo said. “I’ve kind of gotten in to a little bit of a routine with that. I know I was the backup the last couple of weeks, but you still prepare like you’re the starter. Learning the other team’s defenses. Watching as much film as you can. There are still things we put in I’ll learn for the first time. That part of the learning curve, I’m pretty comfortable with now. I got a nice routine for it.”
Part of Garoppolo's routine will consist of meeting with center Daniel Kilgore to go through the 49ers’ different protections so they are working on the same page on Sunday. Kilgore realizes he must take on more responsibility with a quarterback who is still figuring out the team’s offense.
“He’s been in a complex offense before,” Kilgore said. “He knows how to study. He backed up Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. I would say he feels much more comfortable since Day 1. How much more comfortable is he?
“Out of 10, he’s anywhere from a 6 to 7, from what I see. He just has to go out on Sunday and have fun.”
Beathard is still nursing a left knee bruise and a hip strain. He is not scheduled to practice on Wednesday. Shanahan said he is optimistic Beathard will practice Thursday and Friday and be available to serve as Garoppolo’s backup on Sunday.
If Beathard is unable to suit up, the 49ers would likely promote undrafted rookie quarterback Nick Mullens from the practice squad.