Coach Jim Tomsula informed his quarterbacks Monday what everyone figured would be the case after the 49ers’ win Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons: Blaine Gabbert has done enough to earn a second start.
That start will come Nov. 22 against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, where the 49ers haven’t won since 2011 and where nearly every opposing quarterback has struggled.
Atlanta’s pass defense ranked 24th entering Sunday’s game, and the Falcons entered the game with 10 sacks, second fewest in the league. The Seahawks rank second in total defense and have 20 sacks.
The 49ers’ former starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is 0-4 in Seattle. He’s thrown for just two touchdowns against six interceptions and has a 55.2 passer rating at CenturyLink Field.
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Blaine did a nice job, (did) some really, really good things with his feet and his arm and his brain. Really did a nice job. So congratulations to him.
49ers coach Jim Tomsula on quaterback Blaine Gabbert
Gabbert played well in Sunday’s 17-16 win, throwing for two first-half touchdowns and helping seal the game with a five-yard bootleg for a first down on the 49ers’ final drive. He also was not sacked, the first time this season the 49ers have not allowed one.
“Blaine did a nice job, (did) some really, really good things with his feet and his arm and his brain,” Tomsula said. “Really did a nice job. So congratulations to him.”
Kaepernick and Gabbert weren’t told Gabbert would start until Monday afternoon, and Tomsula declined to reveal the choice during a news conference earlier in the day. At that time, 49ers players said they had no expectation or preference for a particular player.
The 49ers haven’t beaten the Seahawks at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field since 2011, and former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick is 0-4 there.
“Either way, it doesn’t matter to me,” said tight end Garrett Celek, who caught both of Gabbert’s touchdown passes Sunday.
With the 49ers in their bye week, Gabbert will have two weeks to prepare for the Seahawks. He also might have two key members of the offense who were missing Sunday, running back Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Hyde hasn’t played since Oct. 22 against Seattle because of a stress fracture in the side of his left foot. Staying off the foot for roughly a month won’t heal the break, but the hope is Hyde’s comfort level will increase with rest.
Boldin strained a hamstring Oct. 18 against the Baltimore Ravens. He played against Seattle but has sat out the last two games. Tomsula said the statuses of Hyde and Boldin will be day-to-day.
Center Daniel Kilgore, who is coming back from a broken leg suffered more than a year ago, is expected to resume practicing with the team Nov. 16. However, he probably won’t be ready to play against the Seahawks.
Tomsula said players would be at the 49ers’ facility Monday and Tuesday this week. On Wednesday, some veterans will be allowed to go off and enjoy the bye week, but younger and rehabilitating players will be at the facility. The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement requires the players to have a block of four days off during the bye, so everyone will be gone starting Thursday.