Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan stands on the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan: No QB battle for 49ers, not a weekly decision

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated once more on Wednesday that Jimmy Garoppolo is their starting quarterback and rookie Trey Lance isn’t challenging him for more playing time.

The 49ers (2-1) have used Lance on a handful of plays in certain packages and scenarios so far this season. The rookie threw for a touchdown in Week 1’s win over the Detroit Lions and powered in for a 1-yard rushing touchdown in Week 3’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.

A reporter asked Shanahan if the Niners aren’t using Lance earlier and more often because it might prevent Garoppolo from developing a rhythm early.

“There’s not a quarterback battle right now,” Shanahan said. “We’re going with our starting quarterback, who I think is playing very well. I’m happy that he is, so that Trey is not thrown into any situations he has to do too early.

“If he ever is thrown into that, then I know Trey will deal with that and he’ll get better as it goes. But we have the luxury where we don’t have to do that yet, to Trey or to our team.”

For his part, Garoppolo has completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 760 yards, four touchdowns and one interception through three games. Were it not for Aaron Rodgers’ last-minute heroics on Sunday night, the 49ers might be 3-0. After a slow start, Garoppolo led three second-half touchdown drives to take the lead late.

San Francisco hosts the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) on Sunday in what will be each team’s first NFC West game of the season.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan: WR Brandon Aiyuk not being punished

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk followed up a strong rookie season with limited opportunity in the opener last weekend.

Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that Aiyuk isn’t in the doghouse. Rather, the team is rewarding fellow wide receiver Trent Sherfield for being a consistent presence in practice.

“I know this all being (looked at) that we’re punishing Aiyuk or something because Trent got even reps with him or we rotated those guys,” Shanahan said. “I’m not gonna sit here and say he needs to do A, B and C to get back out there, but it’s more that we’ve been practicing the last month and one guy has been there every day and the quarterback has a lot of confidence in him.

“… If he wants to be out there every single play, he’s got to be a lot better than the guy behind him.”

Sherfield, 25, opened the scoring on Sunday with a 5-yard touchdown reception in San Francisco’s 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions.

Sherfield finished with two catches for 23 yards. Aiyuk was held without a reception while dealing with the effects of a nagging hamstring injury.

Aiyuk, 23, led the team in catches (60), receiving yards (748) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 12 games last season. He also rushed for two scores for the 49ers, who selected him with the 25th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

August 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warm up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan has ‘good idea’ of starting QB but won’t spill

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t see a reason to name a Week 1 starting quarterback yet — other than to get reporters to stop asking him.

Asked Wednesday about the status of the competition between Jimmy Garoppolo and first-round draft pick Trey Lance, Shanahan said he had a “pretty good idea” of which quarterback he’d name to start, but wasn’t ready to share it yet.

“If there would be one reason I can think of by naming it that would help, it’d be to end those questions,” Shanahan said. “If you could give me another reason that it’s a big advantage that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us, then I will name it. But I don’t think it does.

“And you know, why tell people? I know you guys want an answer, which is fine. I get the suspense of it, but I’m not just going to answer it to end your guys’ suspense.”

Shanahan’s remarks came hours after the Jacksonville Jaguars officially named No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence their starting quarterback and the Denver Broncos announced Teddy Bridgewater would start over Drew Lock.

It leaves the 49ers as the one of the few remaining teams without a Week 1 starter solidified — or at least publicly known.

Garoppolo was asked Wednesday if Shanahan had divulged to him which quarterback would start Week 1 against the host Detroit Lions.

“Yeah, I have a pretty good idea,” Garoppolo said. “It’s whatever (Shanahan) decides, yeah. I have a pretty good idea. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now and everything and just the offense as a whole.

“Yeah, Kyle’s the head man. He’ll make the call.”

Shanahan said at the start of training camp that Garoppolo was entering camp as the No. 1 on the depth chart and Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in April, would start as second string. The fifth-year Niners coach also said this month that Lance would see the field at least “situationally” during his rookie season.

Reports out of San Francisco’s camp have said Lance has received more first-team snaps of late.

Garoppolo has a 22-8 regular-season record as the 49ers’ starter but has battled a number of injuries, including a torn ACL and two high ankle sprains. He started Super Bowl LIV for the Niners, a game they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer claps as his players transition between drills on the practice fields outside TIAA Bank Field during the Jacksonville Jaguars  mandatory veterans minicamp session Monday morning, June 14, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

Jki 061421 Jaguarsveterans 1

Reports: 49ers, Cowboys, Jags dinged for OTA violations

The Jacksonville Jaguars were fined $200,000 and the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys were each fined $100,000 for violating NFL rules about organized team activities, ESPN and NFL Network reported Thursday.

New Jaguars coach Urban Meyer was fined $100,000 while 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy were levied $50,000 fines. In addition, according to the reports, each team had to forfeit a certain amount of OTA practice time, either this year or for 2022.

The precise violations were not made public.

The Jaguars released a statement saying that the club is “vigilant about practicing within the (Collective Bargaining Agreement) rules and will re-emphasize offseason training rules as they relate to contact. We are looking forward to the start of training camp later this month.”

OTAs are held during the offseason and are typically run at a lower speed and intensity. Players are only allowed to wear helmets, shorts and jerseys — no pads — in accordance with the CBA.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches from the sidelines during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Rams 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers to take QB at No. 3, defer on Jimmy Garoppolo’s future

The San Francisco 49ers plan to select a quarterback with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Monday.

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, speaking at their pre-draft press conference, each alluded to the fact that they had the quarterback position in mind when they made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 overall to No. 3.

“What I’m proud of with what we’ve done is we could have sat there at 12 and waited to see which one came to us, and I think whichever one did, if one did … I think that could have looked really good,” Shanahan said.

“But we made a decision in this process that we felt we needed to get a starting quarterback this year and add that to our team. And when we sit there at 12 way back in the day, we wanted to dictate it. We also were worried: Maybe the one we end up wanting doesn’t fall to 12.”

After San Francisco traded the No. 12 pick, its next two first-rounders and a 2022 third-rounder to Miami to move up to No. 3, NFL Network reported that the 49ers told quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo he was “still in (their) plans.” But Garoppolo’s future with the team is now in doubt following Shanahan’s comments about drafting a “starting” quarterback, and he could be an attractive trade target for another team.

Shanahan effectively dodged the question when asked if he was certain if Garoppolo would be on the 49ers’ roster by the end of the week.

“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can’t guarantee who will be on our roster on Sunday. So that goes for all of us,” he said.

Since arriving in San Francisco via trade from the New England Patriots in 2017, Garoppolo has started 30 games; the 49ers went 22-8 in those starts. He quarterbacked the team to Super Bowl LIV, a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But multiple injuries caused him to miss most of the 2018 and 2020 seasons.

Shanahan said he feels good about five different quarterback prospects for the third pick. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson are widely expected to go with the first two picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, respectively. San Francisco then would have its pick among the next three options: Justin Fields of Ohio State, Mac Jones of Alabama and Trey Lance of North Dakota State.

ESPN’s Todd McShay reported Monday that Shanahan wants to select Jones, but others in the front office are pushing for Lance.

Lynch said he “will always defer to” Shanahan on the topic of quarterbacks. Shanahan is the 49ers’ offensive play-caller and has a track record as an offensive coordinator in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta.

But the decision at No. 3 will be made jointly by Lynch and Shanahan, Lynch added.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) returns to the locker room following pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Shanahan won’t guarantee Garoppolo’s ’21 return

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan expects to have Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback next season, but he stopped short of guaranteeing anything when asked about the player’s future Monday.

Garoppolo, who was limited to six games this season because of injury, is due to count $53 million against the salary cap over the next two seasons. Alternatively, San Francisco could let him go and absorb only $4.2 million in dead cap money.

“You can’t say anything with certainty,” Shanahan said. “You don’t sit here and make promises on anything. When you build a football team, it’s your job to put the best team together year in and year out.

“Now, you look into every avenue and you see if there’s something out there that can get you a ton better. That’s the same answer for every position, but look at Jimmy, look what he’s done, look where he’s at financially. We better have a very good answer if you’re going to find something better than that because Jimmy has shown in one year that he’s the guy who can take us to the Super Bowl and I also think that Jimmy is going to get a lot better the more he plays.”

Garoppolo, 29, has thrown for 8,042 yards and 51 touchdowns with 26 interceptions in 48 games (32 starts) for the New England Patriots and the 49ers. He helped to lead San Francisco to Super Bowl LIV, where he completed 20 of 31 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract with the 49ers before the start of the 2018 season. He has two years remaining on the deal with a base salary set for $24.1 million in 2021 and $24.2 million in 2022.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Shanahan expects QB Garoppolo back ‘this year’

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo when the quarterback returns from a high right ankle sprain, even if it isn’t until next season.

“I expect Jimmy to be our starter next year,” Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday. “I expect him to come and play with us this year. We have six games left, we are not out of the playoffs yet. I have been on a team that was 3-6 going into a bye week that ended up winning their division. I think we have guys on this team that are capable of finishing this the right way.”

Garoppolo has sustained two sprains to his upper right ankle this season, limiting him to six games and forcing him onto injured reserve on Nov. 3. Garoppolo, who most recently got hurt against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 1, was expected to be sidelined for six weeks, making him eligible to return for a few games at season’s end if everything goes as expected.

“We’ve got to do it one game at a time, and I hope Jimmy can be a part of that,” Shanahan said. “But to think that we’ve made any decisions on anybody going into the future isn’t the case. Jimmy has won a lot of games for us. It’s a lot harder to win games when he’s not here. Just hoping we can get him back.”

Nick Mullens owns a 1-3 record as a starter this season in place of Garoppolo. The 49ers have dropped their past two games, mustering just 30 points combined against the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. Mullens has thrown for 1,390 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions this season.

Garoppolo, who arrived in San Francisco in 2017 via a trade with the Patriots, has led the 49ers to a record of 24-9 as a starter, including the regular season and postseason. The team is 5-23 with someone else starting under Shanahan.

San Francisco (4-6) has a bye this week. A combination of how fast Garoppolo heals coupled with the 49ers’ playoff chances that will determine if he comes back this season. Garoppolo elected not to have surgery.

The 49ers play the Los Angeles Rams (6-3) in Week 12 on Nov. 29.

“I’m really holding out hope that Jimmy can get back and play some games with us,” Shanahan said. “I’m hoping that we can change a little bit of our outcomes so when he does come back and hopefully a few other people, they’re coming back for a reason.”

Running backs Tevin Coleman (knee) and Raheem Mostert (ankle), receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (hamstring) are scheduled to return against the Rams, according to Shanahan.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) throws a pass during warm ups before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers to stick with Mullens at QB

Nick Mullens will get another chance at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, with a few extra days to prepare before next taking the field on Nov. 15 in New Orleans.

The day after the 49ers were throttled 34-17 by Green Bay at home, coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday he is willing to stick with Mullens despite a lackluster performance against the Packers.

Mullens, in his third season out of Southern Mississippi, completed 22 of 35 passes for 291 yards Thursday night with one touchdown and one interception. The TD pass — 41 yards to Richie James — didn’t come until five minutes remained in the game.

A true assessment of Mullens’ abilities was hard to come by, as the 49ers were missing multiple key players due to injury or COVID-19 restrictions. A high-ankle sprain to starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo gave Mullens his third start of the season.

But he was without key targets like tight end George Kittle (foot) and wide receivers Deebo Samuel (hamstring), Brandon Aiyuk (COVID-19) and Kendrick Bourne (COVID-19). Running back Raheem Mostert (ankle) also was out.

Shanahan said Monday that Mullens was not the reason the 49ers failed to stay competitive with the Packers.

Mullens is 91 of 133 this season for 1,143 yards, with five touchdowns and four interceptions. In 14 career games (11 starts) he is 267 of 407 for 3,420 yards with 18 TDs and 14 picks.

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2020; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) looks for a receiver during training camp at SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

Garoppolo out for 49ers; Mullens to start vs. Giants

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Nick Mullens will start at quarterback on Sunday against the New York Giants.

Jimmy Garoppolo is not ready to return from a high right ankle sprain suffered in last weekend’s 31-13 victory over the New York Jets.

Shanahan said on KNBR radio in San Francisco on Friday that C.J. Beathard will back up Mullens and that Garoppolo will be inactive.

Mullens, 25, completed 8 of 11 passes for 71 yards with one interception in relief of Garoppolo against the Jets. In 2018, he was 3-5 as a starter and completed 64.2 percent of his throws for 2,277 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 picks.

Mullens started those eight games in 2018 after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL.

Shanahan also said no decision had been made about the status of tight end George Kittle for Sunday. He has a sprained left knee and has been limited in practice this week.

–Field Level Media

Aug 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver J.J. Nelson (15) greets Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk prior to the preseason game at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Nelson (knee) latest injury to WR corps

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver J.J. Nelson will be sidelined as long as one month with a knee injury, coach Kyle Shanahan announced Friday.

Nelson, who was signed by the 49ers two weeks ago, joins fellow wideouts Deebo Samuel (foot), Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring), Jalen Hurd (torn ACL) and Richie James (wrist) on the sideline due to injuries.

“J.J. Nelson has come in and done a really good job,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac show” on Friday morning. “He’s been banged up the last two days. We just got some injury stuff on him yesterday, so he’s going to probably be out here for the next month, so you lose another (receiver).”

The 49ers attempted to address the situation by signing former first-round pick Kevin White and fellow wide receiver River Cracraft on Thursday.

Nelson, 28, appeared in two games with the then-Oakland Raiders last season and caught four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.

The 2015 fifth-round draft pick has 85 career receptions for 1,475 yards and 11 TDs in 58 games with the Arizona Cardinals (2015-18) and Raiders. The 49ers signed him to a one-year, $910,000 contract earlier this month.

–Field Level Media