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SANTA CLARA — C.J. Beathard’s bruised knee and strained hip seemingly will lead to Jimmy Garoppolo’s 49ers starting debut Sunday at Chicago.

Coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t willing to say so on Monday, however. Check back by Wednesday’s practice, when one or the other quarterback will receive most first-team reps.

What Shanahan did confirm was that Garoppolo still has time, albeit a tight window, to play himself into a long-term contract. Otherwise, a one-year extension via the franchise tag remains a “logical” option.

“Jimmy has goals and believes in himself that he can be one of the better quarterbacks,” Shanahan said. “Anyone who feels that way I would assume wants to be paid accordingly. It’s very tough to do over six games, five games, four games.

“Jimmy wants his best opportunity to prove that to us, and I’d like to give that to him.

“If that happens over a five-game span, a three-game span, then, ‘Great, let’s do it. If it doesn’t, no big deal, we’ll franchise you up. Let’s go to work. Our goal will be to get you that next year. If that does happen for you, that means it happens for us, and we’ll all be happy about that.’ ”

The franchise tag would cost the 49ers over $20 million to apply on Garoppolo rather than let him hit unrestricted free agency when his rookie contract expires.

Beathard, meanwhile, is on the mend after a literally bruising fifth straight start (13 hits, three sacks). Shanahan said Beathard sustained no serious or long-term injury but is so banged up the 49ers (1-10) will wait to see how he feels before announcing their upcoming starter against the Bears (3-8).

“He’s a little too sore to see how long it will last so we’ll look more into it (Tuesday) and get more information on when he’ll be ready to practice,” Shanahan said.

Beathard’s left knee took what Shanahan considered an illegally low and violent hit from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett with 1:07 remaining in the 24-13 defeat.

Shanahan said of Beathard’s outing: “He never got skittish, still kept hanging in there trying to do his job. There were a couple throws he’d like back but not any more than a couple.”

Garoppolo also earned kudos for his three-snap cameo, which consisted of a 4-yard scramble, an 8-yard completion on fourth-and-5 that hit Aldrick Robinson “perfect in rhythm” and a 10-yard touchdown pass as time expired on an “off-schedule” play.

“He’s gotten better. It’s still a work in progress and will continue to be throughout the year,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “Hopefully he’ll be a lot more comfortable going into next year.”

Garoppolo could find himself in comfortable confines Sunday, having grown up 30 miles from Soldier Field in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Whether or not he’s amenable to a franchise tag, at least the 49ers are.

“It’d be very hard for jimmy to go in there and show for whatever timespan that is he could do that,” Shanahan said. “Also for us, man, that’s a lot of pressure to get a guy ready to commit something long term. Knowing how the franchise tag works made us a no-brainer to make that trade.”

“If you have the franchise tag, you don’t have to ever worry about losing him,” Shanahan added. “You can get there, do things the right way, really find out what the guy is. We understand that and I think Jimmy understands that, also.”

— Right tackle Trent Brown’s shoulder injury, which kept him out Sunday, remains sore and again will make him a game-time decision, Shanahan said. Brown got hurt late in Thursday’s practice when he extended his arm to block in a one-on-one situation, Shanahan said.

Although Erik Magnuson started in Brown’s place against the Seahawks, the rookie lineman is headed for injured reserve because of a foot sprain he coped with through the final three quarters. Magnuson allowed two sacks and eight hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Mostert, their leading tackler on special teams, injured a medial collateral ligament in the first half.

The remaining options at tackle are undrafted rookie Darrell Williams Jr. and veteran Zane Beadles.

— The 49ers injured reserve list will grow to 19 with the impending additions of Magnuson and third-year running back Rahseem Mostert, their leading special-teams tackler who injured a medial collateral ligament in his knee.

 

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