Rookie C.J. Beathard will return to the backup quarterback role when the San Francisco 49ers travel to play the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The team has announced via its official Twitter account that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will make his first start since joining the 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan met with Beathard and Garoppolo on Tuesday to inform them of his decision.


Garoppolo entered Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks with 67 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter following an injury to Beathard. With the game well in hand for Seattle, Garoppolo completed both of his passes for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Further tests on Monday revealed that Beathard sustained a knee contusion and hip strain when hit by Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.

Garoppolo was acquired by the 49ers via a trade with the New England Patriots on October 30. San Francisco sent its second-round draft pick in 2018 to New England in return for the quarterback.

Since then, Garoppolo has been working hard to grasp Shanahan's complicated offense and become comfortable enough to get onto the football field. Garoppolo is seen as a potential franchise quarterback for the 49ers but is in the final year of his contract. The 49ers have two options to retain Garoppolo beyond 2017. They can sign him to a long-term deal or use the franchise tag, which would extend his audition time by an additional year.

Garoppolo was initially selected by New England in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2014 draft. He appeared in 17 games while starting two during his four seasons with New England. During that time, Garoppolo has completed 67-percent of his passes for 690 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 106.2.

Sunday will be Garoppolo's third career NFL start. His first two came in 2016 during the four-game suspension of Tom Brady. Garoppolo completed 42 of his 59 pass attempts for 496 yards, four touchdowns, and a passer rating of 119. While he was supposed to start all four games, his playing time was cut short after sustaining a sprained AC joint during the second quarter of his second start – a matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan scouted Garoppolo during his time with the Cleveland Browns and had a high grade on the Eastern Illinois product coming out of college. However, Cleveland opted to select quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd-overall pick in 2014. 40 picks later, Garoppolo was chosen by New England.

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