San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan claimed his decision to bench starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the beginning of the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins was to protect him from further injury. Garoppolo, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season, missed game action in Weeks 3 and 4 as he contracted an ankle injury in Week 2.
In Week 5, Garoppolo made his return against the Dolphins, but it didn't look good as the 49ers were down 30-7 at the halftime. "Just the way the whole game was going," Shanahan said of his decision to bench Garoppolo, per ESPN.
"Just kind of watching how we were playing as a whole, how he was playing. You could tell he was affected by his ankle. ... But I know he doesn't normally throw the ball that way, and I think he was struggling a little bit because of it and the way the game was going, that I wasn't going to keep putting him in those positions knowing we were going to have to throw it a lot to come back."
Garoppolo wanted to play but respected Shanahan's decision
Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard replaced Garoppolo in the 49ers lineup for the start of the third quarter. "I wanted to be out there," Garoppolo said.
"I'm the quarterback of this team and it's my job to be out there and put the team in position to be successful. Kyle made the decision at halftime. He's the head coach so I followed it. It was just tough. I want to be out there with my guys battling, whatever the situation is."
The 49ers have a tough Week 6 opponent as they face the Los Angeles Rams on their home field. When asked about his availability, Garoppolo said he will take it day by day. "I really haven't thought that far ahead," Garoppolo said.
"I guess we'll just take it day by day with the ankle and see how it goes." Backup quarterback Beathard didn't initiate a comeback as the Dolphins thrashed the 49ers 43-17. The 49ers have started the season on a disappointing way as they have two wins and three losses.
"We haven't been playing very good complementary football, offensively and defensively, whereas last year when our defense would step up big, we'd get the ball and go down and score," Beathard said. "Right now, we're kind of struggling with that ... We saw that today. It stuck out."