Since trading for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo three-plus weeks ago, the former New England Patriot hasn’t taken a snap or thrown a pass in a game.
Rookie C.J. Beathard has held down the starting quarterback role while Garoppolo learns the playbook. Beathard led the 49ers to their first win of the season against the Giants before last week’s bye.
Now former 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young says it’s time for the Niners to start Garoppolo this Sunday against the Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium, even though Beathard played well in the victory.
“I think they have to (start him),” Young said in an interview on KNBR this week. “They have to put him on the field. They can’t hide him, and they’ve got to know. And now that they won a game, they’re playing better, people are healthy, 100 percent they have got to get him on the field.”
As much as Young — and many 49ers fans — would like to see that, it seems the Niners are in no hurry to do it.
This week, general manager John Lynch said head coach Kyle Shanahan will make the decision when to start Garoppolo. Lynch says he believes Garoppolo “has got the makings of a guy who would be our guy for years to come,” but he doesn’t believe the team will gain anything by rushing him onto the field. For now, he appears fine with Beathard continuing to start.
“He’s going to be our guy, you know?” Lynch said, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. “We feel like we’ve got a great quarterback room. You watch the way C.J. Beathard played the other day, he looked like he could be the guy. I think it’s a good issue, and we also realize that we have got to grow around them and we’ve got to continue to put pieces in place, and we will.”
Lynch said the growth Beathard has shown allows the 49ers to be patient.
“We’re trying to accelerate the growth, but we don’t want to rush it,” Lynch told the media, of Garoppolo’s readiness. “But it gets a little better and gets a little more comfortable with each given day. He’s working at it extremely hard.”
Sunday’s game between the 6-4 Seahawks and 1-9 49ers is set to kick off at 1:05 p.m.