San Francisco 49ers

Beathard or Garoppolo? Why stage is being set for quarterback competition

Quarterback C.J. Beathard needs some time off to rest his sore thumb, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, but does not have any fractures.
Quarterback C.J. Beathard needs some time off to rest his sore thumb, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, but does not have any fractures. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

C.J. Beathard will get time off this week while his rival for the 49ers’ starting quarterback job, Jimmy Garoppolo, will get some extra attention.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday the thumb on Beathard’s throwing hand isn’t broken but is sore after he landed on it awkwardly while scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Sunday. Beathard originally injured the thumb during a Week 9 loss to Arizona.

“He’s pretty banged up,” Shanahan said. “He’ll be sore throughout this week. It will definitely help to let him get some rest because nothing’s broken or anything. Make sure no one runs into it over the next week will help and it should be better next week.”

Beathard had easily his best game in four starts in Sunday’s 31-21 win over the New York Giants, completing 76 percent of his passes, throwing two touchdowns against one interception and also running for what turned out to be the winning score. The performance softened the chorus of calls to insert the newly acquired Garoppolo into the lineup, but Shanahan remained noncommittal about his plans over the final six weeks of the season.

San Francisco has a bye this week during which most of the healthy players will leave town until the team reassembles next Monday.

One of the exceptions is Garoppolo, who will get one-on-one coaching from Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello this week.

Shanahan noted that rookie pass catchers Trent Taylor and George Kittle will remain in Santa Clara as part of their rehabilitation from recent injuries and that veteran receiver Louis Murphy, who was signed last week, also will remain in town to work on his conditioning.

“We’ve got some players who will be catching balls from him and stuff like that,” Shanahan said.

Who will start at quarterback on Nov. 26 at home against the Seattle Seahawks? Shanahan suggested it will be the one who performs best in practice in the run-up to that game.

“We’ll see how Jimmy responds this week,” Shanahan said. “We’ll get to work more one-on-one with him, get a little extra practice on Monday and see how it goes. We’ll have our game plan done Monday and Tuesday and we’ll start practicing our game plan Wednesday.”

Another break at safety Rookie free safety Adrian Colbert became the third 49ers free safety to suffer a broken bone in as many weeks. Shanahan said Colbert broke a bone at the base of his thumb and will have surgery this week.

He may miss the game against the Seahawks, but there’s hope he can play after that. Newly signed Antone Exum would fill in if Colbert can’t play.

A seventh-round pick in April, Colbert suffered the injury on San Francisco’s opening series Sunday, but played all 66 snaps and delivered a number of big hits, including one that broke up a critical third-down pass along the sideline.

Free safety Jimmie Ward broke his arm in Week 8 and was lost for the season. His replacement, Jaquiski Tartt, suffered a similar arm injury the following week and also won’t play again in 2017.

Roster moves – The team cut defensive lineman Tony McDaniel on Monday in anticipation of moving Tank Carradine off injured reserve next week. Practice squad guard J.P. Flynn was placed on injured reserve.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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