For the second-straight season, an injury has ended C.J. Beathard's role as the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback. Last year, a knee contusion and hip strain set the stage for the 49ers debut of newly acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. This season, a right wrist and thumb injury presented Nick Mullens with an opportunity to outshine Beathard.

The public perception is that Beathard has worked his way out of this year's starting role and the 49ers' future backup quarterback job. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been assuring his 2017 third-round draft pick that his NFL story is not yet over.

"I feel the same about C.J. now as I always have," Shanahan told reporters on Thursday. "I get that we'd love better results and love for his record to be better. C.J. did some really good things that are very encouraging to show his ability (and) that he can play in this league.

"Then he had some games where he wasn't as good. I don't put that all on C.J. I put it on our entire team. There's things he could have done better, but I believe C.J. has the ability to play in this league, and I think he has shown that."

Shanahan even compared Beathard's first nine starts to those of Kirk Cousins, who at the time was with the Washington Redskins.

Note: Actual stats are below. The stats Shanahan provided were incorrect.

C.J. Beathard First 9 starts Kirk Cousins
1-8 Record 2-7
10 TDs 14
12 INTs 15

The point was that even Cousins, who Shanahan believes to be a very good NFL quarterback, struggled early on as well.

"I also know that a lot of people gave up on Kirk because of how he started," Shanahan said. "Everyone wanted to put it on one guy. It was a lot more than just that.

"C.J. needs to improve. He needs to get better. But you can't overrate all of the stuff that people put on one person who think that you just can't play.

"C.J. has the mental toughness to get through that. Eventually, someday, I don't know when, he will get his opportunity. Hopefully, he'll heal up, get fresher, and learn from what he did good and what he did bad."

Shanahan said he relays this kind of information to Beathard. He said that the quarterback situation will be a week-to-week decision. For now, Mullens will get the call on Monday night against the New York Giants.

"C.J.'s story is not over," Shanahan added. "That's what I want him to know."