NFL

49ers QB C.J. Beathard to start Sat. vs. Cardinals; Jimmy Garoppolo's practice window opens

The San Francisco 49ers are C.J. Beathard’s team for this week.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday his team will start Beathard at quarterback in Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, adding previous starter Nick Mullens will be out with an elbow injury that could require Tommy John surgery. The 49ers are looking at other teams’ practice squads to try to add a quarterback for depth behind Beathard, Shanahan added.

As for usual starter Jimmy Garoppolo, Shanahan said it’s unlikely he’ll play again this season, despite having his practice window opened. Garoppolo has missed most of the campaign with lower leg issues that have limited him to just six games played in 2020.

Mullens was very up and down in the 10 games he played (eight starts) this season, completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 2,437 yards and a 12-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Mullens turned the ball over three times in San Francisco’s Week 15 loss to Dallas, including a crushing interception late in what was a one-score game.

Beathard has seen limited game action in 2020, appearing in four games and completing 62.2 percent of his 45 pass attempts for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll get full game action in at least Week 16 and perhaps into Week 17, a span in which Shanahan said his main concern with his injury-riddled 49ers is “trying to field a team here for two more games,” via KNBR’s Jake Hutchinson.

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