Count Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett among those who are impressed with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He may even believe that Garoppolo could have served as a more significant threat to Seattle, who won Sunday's game against the 49ers by a score of 24-13, than the quarterback who started the game.

Garoppolo entered the game with 67 seconds remaining and proceeded to score the 49ers' only touchdown in two matchups with Seattle this season. He replaced rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who suffered a leg injury following a hit by Bennett.

Garoppolo finished the game completing both of his passes for 18 yards and the score.

"I know Jimmy pretty well," Bennett said via Janie McCauley of the Associated Press. "You see automatically that spark he gave. You play behind Tom Brady you start picking up knowledge of the game because you're talking to Tom, he's showing you so many different things and so I feel like he's poised to be a great player in this league.

"Like I told him, I look forward to playing against him next season. I'm glad they didn't put him in earlier. I think they're protecting their investment. This is a down season for them. How many games have they won — 1-10. To put that much money into a quarterback, it's a great business move to not force him out there when you can just let him go and come back next season."

Who starts on Sunday against the Chicago Bears could be largely dependent on the status of Beathard. Following the loss to Seattle, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he had no intention of replacing Beathard with Garoppolo before the injury occurred. Of course, Shanahan may decide that Garoppolo is finally ready (or ready enough) to take the reigns as the 49ers' quarterback. The team invested highly in him after trading a 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots for the quarterback.

Garoppolo is scheduled to become a free agent in 2018. The 49ers have five games remaining on their schedule. San Francisco can either sign him to a long-term deal or use the franchise tag if they want to retain Garoppolo beyond those five games. Until then, the quarterback awaits his opportunity.

"You always have to be ready," Garoppolo said following the game. "I've been saying it for the past four years. You never know when your time is going to come, if it's going to come, so when it does you've got to take advantage of it."