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Jimmy Garoppolo era will begin for the 49ers in Week 13 vs. the Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo will finally get his first start for the 49ers.

NFL: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Jimmy Garoppolo era has officially started in Santa Clara. The San Francisco 49ers will give Garoppolo the starting nod for the first time against the Chicago Bears in Week 13, the team announced Tuesday. San Francisco shipped a 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots for Garoppolo before this year's trade deadline.

What happened Sunday? After quarterback C.J. Beathard went down with a left knee injury late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks, Garoppolo made his debut for the 49ers.

With a little more than a minute left in the game, Garoppolo showed fans a glimpse of his talent. The Seahawks held a commanding 24-6 lead, but San Fransisco was in the red zone threatening to score.

Garoppolo orchestrated the hurry-up offense and collected the 49ers' lone touchdown with a 10-yard strike to receiver Louis Murphy.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo's performance would not influence his decision on naming the starter.

“No, those plays have nothing to do with anything. That’s just running around and made a great play, but those have no bearing on it at all,” he said after the game, via Niners Nation.

Garoppolo kept his focus and composure in the game. As a backup quarterback, he said there's never an easy situation to go into.

“I’ve experienced both ends of it. You always have to be ready,” Garoppolo said. “I’ve been saying it for the past four years. You never know when your time is going to come, if it’s going to come, so when it does you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

How did we get here? Garoppolo spent 3 1/2 seasons as Tom Brady’s backup in New England. He started two games for the Patriots last season when Brady was serving his Deflategate suspension. In those starts, Garoppolo completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 502 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

With Garoppolo set to be a free agent after this season — and with the 40-year-old Brady still playing at an MVP level — the Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers in late October.

Beathard took over for the since-released Brian Hoyer midway through a Week 6 game against Washington, but the rookie has struggled behind an offensive line that has allowed him to get sacked 19 times. In seven games, he’s completed 54.9 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Now, a month after he joined the team, Garoppolo has the keys to the offense in San Francisco.

Why is this important? Garoppolo is in line for the most significant playing time of his career, albeit on a team far less talented than the ones he played for in New England.

The 49ers are 1-10 and have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. Now they will get a chance to see what Garoppolo can do — and whether they want to commit to him long-term after the season.

San Francisco's offense has been hard to watch this season, but Garoppolo has the ability to breathe some life into this unit.


The Pats turned Deflategate into a positive thanks to Garoppolo