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It’s time to see Jimmy Garoppolo lead the 49ers

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CJ Beathard played well against the listless Giants, but it’s time for the 49ers to make a change at quarterback. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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Enough of the love fest for C.J. Beathard after his sizzling performance against the dismal New York Giants.

It’s time to hand the keys to the 49ers offense over to Jimmy Garoppolo.

We know what Beathard can and can’t do, and you can’t question his toughness after that three-game stretch where he was hit worse than a piñata.

In a perfect world, head coach Kyle Shanahan would’ve gotten his way and not seen Beathard take a snap this season, but Brian Hoyer wrecked that plan with his putrid play.

Beathard balled out against the 2017 New York Giants — a team with two wins that’s had its pride questioned — so, thanks for the effort. The third-round pick out of Iowa is signed through 2020 with a team-friendly four-year, $3.5 million deal.

He seems to be well liked in the locker room, and we already know about the time Beathard spent studying practices through the Striver VR headsets. He puts in the time and competes.

That’s cool.

But if I’m general manager John Lynch and I have over $60 million to work with this offseason, I need to be convinced Garoppolo is the guy who could bring excitement to this fanbase and play winning football.

Can Garoppolo perform at a high-level and make players around him raise their game? Is he durable? Can he make the unscheduled play? These are questions that need to be answered over the last six weeks of the season, starting with this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Let Garoppolo show off his skills and take ownership of Shanahan’s offense. Are the reps he takes in practice really enough to determine whether the 26-year-old is a franchise quarterback? If he had 45 plays memorized during the Arizona Cardinals game — when he had been in Santa Clara for six days — and considering the way Lynch raved about him Tuesday when he met with reporters, shouldn’t Garoppolo have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Shanahan University by now?

“Garoppolo has been a constant presence at the facility while trying to cram in at least a year’s worth of classroom material.“He’s a worker. I’ve watched the dynamic,” Lynch said. “He’s a young single guy so he hangs around the facility a lot. As opposed to if you’re married, you go to work, you go home because you want to see your kids and you want to tuck them in.”

So what’s the holdup? Joe Staley returned from an orbital bone injury against the Giants, and running back Carlos Hyde is playing well and — like Garoppolo — he’s playing for a hefty long-term deal.

After praising Beathard and stating that it was a “good issue” to have both of these quarterbacks on the roster, Lynch said Shanahan is making the decision who will play quarterback moving forward for the 49ers.

“Believe me, it’s not like we don’t want to see Jimmy. We want him to be ready so when he goes in there, we’re setting him up for success,” Lynch said. “Would we like to see him? Sure. But we also believe, in its own right, that will play itself out. When does that happen? Again, that’s up to Kyle.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see what the Garoppolo hype is about. I’m hearing he can spin it and throw the pigskin with touch. Can this young man lead this franchise that’s had three winning seasons since 2003?

Shanahan, please insert Garoppolo into the lineup. The time is now.

Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.

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