Jimmy Garoppolo continues to miss practice this week while dealing with an ankle injury. The 49ers starter sitting out isn’t a great sign for his availability against the Eagles on Sunday night.
If Garoppolo sits this week, Nick Mullens will start again after an impressive performance in New York on Sunday. Jimmy G supporters, however, need not worry about Mullens Wally Pipping Garoppolo.
Asked whether there was a possibility that Mullens impresses enough to keep the starting gig when Garoppolo is healthy and ready to go, coach Kyle Shanahan was blunt:
“That scenario does not exist,” Shanahan replied, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “This is Jimmy’s team. When he’s healthy, he’s playing.”
Shanahan squashing any QB controversy talk before it gets off the ground is predictable. It doesn’t, however, change that Mullens looked impressive last week — albeit against a terrible Giants defense — going 25 of 36 for 343 passing yards, one pass TD, and a 108.9 rating. The Niners didn’t punt once in Week 3, which is impressive no matter who is under center.
Facing an Eagles defense that is strikingly mediocre, Mullens could be in for another good week if Garoppolo isn’t ready to return.
Another big performance, this one in prime time, could bring some wanton speculation about Shanahan potentially sticking with the gunslinging Mullens, who has been with Shanny in San Francisco for three years. The coach got out ahead of such chatter.
Mullens might head back to the bench once Garoppolo is healthy, but the 49ers are in an enviable position where their backup quarterback can not only keep them afloat but play to a level that warrants questions about him potentially usurping the starter — even if said inquiries are unfounded.
Many teams would love to be in that boat. Just look at what’s going on in Denver right now.
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