49ers excited for Jimmy Garoppolo's first start for team
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By JOSH DUBOW
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Just over a month after arriving as the franchise quarterback of the future in San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo is set for his first start with the 49ers.
Garoppolo got three days of practice work with the starters this week. He has worked with coach Kyle Shanahan to put together a game plan he is comfortable with despite his limited knowledge of the offense for the game Sunday between the 49ers (1-10) and the Chicago Bears (3-8).
"It's been fun," Shanahan said of the process. "Each day as he's gotten more reps, he gets a better understanding of things. He has more questions after going through it. It's been good to get some live reps and go in and watch the tape. To have his first full week, or three days in a row, to get all the reps, has been good for him."
Garoppolo will wear a wristband with the plays to help him make the calls and to give him a cheat sheet in case there are any issues with the coach to quarterback transmission.
He also has a full game plan to work with after being given limited plays the past few weeks when he served as C.J. Beathard's backup. But there will still be some unknowns since it's impossible to plan for all the different looks Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can present for every different play.
"He doesn't have a lot of experience with all the plays we're doing," Shanahan said. "You'd love to give him that and give him every single rep. When someone does do a ton of coverages and fronts, you can't give him every single rep against every single look."
The 49ers traded a 2018 second-round pick to acquire Garoppolo from New England on Oct. 31 and he has undergone a crash-course on learning the offense since then.
He got the opportunity to play for a few plays last week after Beathard left with an injury late in a 24-13 loss to Seattle. Garoppolo completed both passes, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy that showed his ability to fit passes into tight windows because of his strong arm.
Garoppolo's performance in two starts last year when Tom Brady was suspended was impressive and made him a highly sought after quarterback. He completed 42 of 59 passes for 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in wins against Arizona and Miami.
He got hurt in the second quarter of his second start and has thrown just six passes since then - including the two on Sunday.
"He got a hold of the playbook and he's been learning since he's been here. He looks fluid," receiver Aldrick Robinson said. "We're definitely excited. We're excited for Jimmy, excited for the team, excited for the whole organization."
NOTES: Beathard was able to move around well in practice despite injuries to his knee and hip and will go into the game as Garoppolo's backup. ... RT Trent Brown (shoulder) had his best day of practice Friday but is still listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision. ... CB Ahkello Witherspoon hurt his ankle in practice Wednesday and will also be a game-time decision. ... S Adrian Colbert (thumb) was also listed as questionable.
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Updated December 1, 2017