By C.J. Peterson
Special to S.F. Examiner
SANTA CLARA — With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo officially out for the season with a torn ACL, the San Francisco 49ers will now be tasked with coming up with a contingency plan in order to salvage what they can of their season.
According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, the plan is to start backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, who, Shanahan says, the team has an abundance of confidence in, moving forward.
“You have to earn respect,”said Shanahan. “It always starts with how you handle yourself on the field and C.J. earned a lot of respect with how he handles himself on the field. He’s as tough and fearless as anyone I’ve ever met.”
Last season, Beathard appeared in seven games for the 49ers, including five starts. Although he was a mere 1-7 in those games, the Iowa product showed the team just how committed he was. Taking 19 sacks, Beathard endured what Shanahan described as a “beating” in the pocket last season, the most notable of which came in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals, as Beathard was sacked five times.
“Guys know he’ll hang in there and sling it,” said Shanahan. “He’s not scared.”
Although he often ended up on the ground, Beathard managed to throw for 1,430 yards and four touchdowns in his seven appearances, and rushed for three scores, as well.
“That’s what’s been so encouraging about C.J.,” said Shanahan. “No matter what his situation was last year, he’s a guy who has been through it and truly believes that he can do it, just like we believe he can do it, also.”
Along with starting Beathard, Shanahan says that San Francisco will also promote practice squad quarterback Nick Mullens to the active roster on top of bringing in several free agent quarterbacks to add depth to their presently thin roster.
“I know we’re working out a number of guys tomorrow,” Shanahan revealed. “I think Kellen Clemens is coming in. I believe T.J. Yates might possibly be coming in. And we asked Matt Moore.”
In addition to Clemens, Moore and Yates, Shanahan says that former Houston Texan and New Orleans Saint quarterback Tom Savage will also work out.
While Shanahan was unsure of who else was on the list of quarterbacks scheduled to work out in Santa Clara, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will not be one of them.
“No,” said Shanahan when asked if he’s even considered Kaepernick as an option. “I think I made that decision just with the style of offense that we wanted to go with … When you get into a third and fourth guy, whoever that is, you’d like to bring in guys that you felt you didn’t have to change as much of your offense for.”
As the 49ers prepare for their Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, not having Garoppolo healthy and available to play for the remainder of the season is surely a challenge, but the schedule isn’t going to change.
“It was hard today and it’ll be hard over these next few weeks,” said Shanahan. “I’m still very excited about Jimmy and the future of him here and I feel fortunate that we have a backup quarterback that we have a lot of confidence in.”
– Starting corner Richard Sherman will be out for “a couple of weeks,” with a left calf strain according to Shanahan.
In place of Sherman, the 49ers elected to play second-year defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon, who was initially benched for Jimmie Ward to begin the game.
Witherspoon will be the likely option moving forward until Sherman is healthy enough to come back.
– Starting right guard Mike Person suffered a “slight knee sprain,” according to Shanahan and will be listed as questionable heading into Week 4.
Person has started all three games for the 49ers at right guard despite experiencing issues with a foot strain in Week 2.
After briefly exiting during the 49ers 38-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the eight-year veteran did return to finish the game.
– Running back Matt Breida is also listed as questionable after hyperextending his knee.
Breida exited Sunday’s game after slipping in the backfield during the first half but was able to return after receiving treatment from the 49ers training staff.
– Starting free safety Adrian Colbert, who left Sunday’s game with an injured hip, will be re-evaluated by the 49ers medical staff on Wednesday, according to Shanahan.
Colbert appeared to injure himself while contesting a deep pass to Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, and was unable to return to game-action.
San Francisco was already without starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, who was inactive due to a shoulder stinger, and will re-evaluate the Samford product on Wednesday as well.